As part of LGBTQA and Latin History Month, world-renowned Latin poet Christopher Soto spoke at the University of Idaho Oct. 3.
Soto was awarded the “Barnes and Noble Writer for Writers” award in 2016. In 2017 he was awarded “The Freedom Plow Award for Poetry and Activism” by Split the Rock. Soto is the author of “Sad Girl Poems” and is currently working to be the editor for a piece coming out in 2018 known as “Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color.”
After LGBTQA Office program coordinator Julia Keleher introduced him, Soto started the event by giving his condolences to those hurt at the Route 91 Harvest Festival Concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. He went on to describe “Sad Girl Poems.” Afterward, he read a few poems from the book, starting with his poem about Jesus being a transwoman.
“We need to look behind every field of resistance and look for transwomen of color and if you can’t find them it’s because they were erased, they did exist,” Soto said, talking about what he thinks people should know about LGBTQA History Month.
Soto asked the audience questions throughout the event and later chose a few attendees to read some poems by other famous poets of color such as Danez Smith and Joshua Jennifer Espinoza.
“I really loved how he did that,” said Jada Cortese, a first year student from Lewis and Clark State College. “It brought all of us closer and more interested in the material.”
Cecil Milliken can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org