Writing is where I work out so much of the intersection of identities, and when I first started the journey to publish I found my work was getting rejected by white run and led publishing houses. My work often feels too white to fit in Latinx journals, too Latinx to fit in white journals. My poem “Assimilation” speaks directly to that pull.
The Black women in my life have seemed to understand this experience more than any of my other friends when I talk about it. So it is with huge pride and gratitude that I can now share that a black, female-owned publisher called Lucky Jefferson is the first literary journal to publish my work.
In this revolutionary time, it feels somewhat icky to self promote. I’m not here to scream my name from the rooftops, but to point to the independent artists and editors that have voices that will usher us into the next generation.
I will never forget lucky jefferson for being the first publishing house to accept and publish my work. To validate it. To accept me somehow through the work. Art is essential, and we have to see ourselves in the art we consume. We have to know we are not alone. On the outside, I look nothing like the editors at lucky jefferson but they thought that what I wrote was worthy of publication. They thought maybe their readers could relate some how. Words have the power to change. And the publishing industry is no different than any other: the people at the top tend to look nothing like the voices that need the most amplification for social change.
Let’s support black publishers, authors, and editors.
Please donate directly to the work of @lucky_jefferson to support Black lives and Black art. Consider buying multiple copies of Labyrinth to distribute to coffee shops, local bookstores, or meetups. To donate or buy copies, please visit their website, by clicking any of the links above. Or right here.
*cover art of Issue 3 by Janine Liu