A fifth generation Californian of Mexican and Native American (Chumash) heritage, Lorna Dee Cervantes was born on August 6, 1954, in San Francisco, and raised in San Jose. She is the author of From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger (Arte Público Press, 1991) and Emplumada (1981), which won an American Book Award. She is also … Continued
A fifth generation Californian of Mexican and Native American (Chumash) heritage, Lorna Dee Cervantes was born on August 6, 1954, in San Francisco, and raised in San Jose.
She is the author of From the Cables of Genocide: Poems on Love and Hunger (Arte Público Press, 1991) and Emplumada (1981), which won an American Book Award.
She is also co-editor of Red Dirt, a cross-cultural poetry journal, and her work has been included in many anthologies including Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry (eds. Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan, 1994), No More Masks! An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Women Poets (ed. Florence Howe, 1993), and After Aztlan: Latino Poets of the Nineties (ed. Ray González, 1992).
In 1995 she received a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award.
for Mahmoud Darwish
“We travel like other people, but we return to nowhere…/ …/ We have a country of words. Speak. Speak so we may know the end of this travel.” (from We Travel like Other People, the lines quoted are from his poem “Psalm 2”)a country you carry in your pocket airport to airport, a country that exists for you in a remembered fragrance, an expired stamp, now the seal of blood embossed upon someone’s sunstruck pavement. Who owns this property? Who owns the right to no way out but a busted window a hundred flights up? Who owns the key to Heaven’s Gate? Did it open?
I open the newspaper, my computer, an account, and need to account for all the terror in the world, in crossing the street with my child this morning, our Indian heads and Palestinian shrouds. With what do we pay? For what attention? I want to draw its shape “scattered in files and surprises…. flying on shrapnel and bird’s wings…. trapped between the dagger and the wind. I want to draw your shape to find my shape in yours….”
And what if the source of death is not the dagger or the lie? But both. Buried deep in the human rubble. Closer to God than thee.
The Voices Education Project offers tools, philosophies, and learning methods that will help young people understand the roots of conflict and the trauma of war, confront the pain and fear at the heart of conflict, and help to build healthy human communities in the wake of war. We use the arts and education to transform the consciousness of young people, give teachers and students a way to explore the most important and terrifying issues of our day, and create a dialogue in which all voices can be heard, and all points of view included, without engendering fear, hatred, or anger.