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Read This! The Third Issue of ‘Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color’

Read This! The Third Issue of ‘Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color’

Author: Christopher Soto

September 15, 2016

Welcome to Nepantla Issue #3

Wow! I can’t believe this is already the third year of Nepantla’s existence. It feels like just the other day when I only knew a handful of queer poets of color and now my whole life is surrounded by your community. Thank you for making this journal possible! This year, we read thousands of poems to consider for publication in Nepantla. We have published twenty-seven poets below (three of them being posthumous publications). It’s getting increasingly more difficult to publish all of the amazing poems we encounter during the submissions process. Please do not be discouraged from submitting to us multiple years! This decision, to publish posthumously, was made in a deep desire to carry the legacies of those who have helped shape our understandings of self and survival in the world. With Nepantla we want to honor those who have proceeded us and honor those who are currently living. We are proud to be publishing the voices of June Jordan, Akilah Oliver, and tatiana de la tierra in Issue #3. This year’s issue was made possible by a grant from the organization ‘A Blade of Grass.’

Also, I want to acknowledge other queer of color journals that have formed in the recent years too. I believe that having a multitude of journals, and not a singular voice, for our community is extremely important. Oftentimes, people believe in a destructive competition which doesn’t allow for their communities to flourish. I want these journals to flourish because they will provide more opportunities for queer of color voices to be heard (and from a different lens than my own). If something were ever to happen to Nepantla, I could rest knowing that my QPOC community still has a place for their poetry, so thank you to those journals for existing. Also, and pardon for the awkward transition, I want to acknowledge the recent massacre in Orlando. A few months ago, 49 members of our community were murdered by gun violence. Nepantla is not an apolitical journal. We stand firmly against all transphobia, homophobia, sexism, racism, islamophobia, ableism, etc. We stand against the state’s decision to increase policing in queer communities after our murders. We do not support increased police presence in queer of color communities which continue to face hyper surveillance and disproportionate criminalization.

Nepantla Issue #3 is dedicated to everyone impacted by the tragedy in Orlando.

(Click the image above for a pdf of Nepantla Issue #3)


Akilah Oliver* hyena (an absolution chant for the beloved community)
Erika L Sánchez Self Portrait
Meredith Talusan DataLounge – Gay Celebrity Gossip, Gay Politics, Gay News and Pointless Bitchery since 1995
Tommy Pico from Food
Jaye Sablan scents of my mother
June Jordan** Poem About Police Violence
Francisco Márquez Puerto Escondido
Saretta Morgan untitled (#4)
Nghiem Tran Winter, 8pm
Lillian Kalish Last Sunrise Over Mobile
 Isabella X A Black Woman’s Burden
R. Erica Doyle wander
jayy dodd A Future Yesterday
tatiana de la tierra*** Ode to Unsavory Lesbians
Ser Serpas from last 4 months
Julian Randall I Am Only An Ocean Because I Resemble A Vast Regret
Luther Hughes suicide note #1
Malcolm Tariq Things I Have Been
Jayson Smith Watching Paul Mooney Hum Amazing Grace Post-9/11 While Eating Hot Wings From Crown Fried
cedar sigo Tyler, Texas
Oswaldo Vargas Paisahood
Hiwot Adilow Mihret
Juan Jose Rodriguez AstroPhysicist
Jasmine Sierra on the seventh day
Jennifer Perrine We Have Come to the End of the Oyster Months
Ocean Vuong Interview with Christopher Soto
Brenda Shaughnessy Interview with Christopher Soto

* “Hyena (An Absolution Chant for the Beloved Community)” is reprinted by permission from A Toast in the House of Friends (Coffee House Press, 2009). Copyright © 2009 by Akilah Oliver.

** Copyright 2005 June Jordan Literary Estate trust; reprinted by permission.

*** Previously published in the cardboard chapbook tierra 2010: poems, songs & a little blood. Chibcha Press, Long Beach, Califas. 2010.

To download an epub file of the Nepantla Journal click here.

Christopher Soto photo

About: Christopher Soto

Christopher Soto (aka Loma) is a queer latin@ punk poet & prison abolitionist. For more information, visit

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