By Marissa Wells
“This Poem Might Save You (Me),” by Jesenia Chavez, is an exciting book of poetry that takes readers on a journey through the streets of Los Angeles to the author’s parents’ hometowns in Chihuahua, Mexico.
“The title of my collection is ‘This Poem Might Save You (Me)’ because our stories can save us, they can help us remember we are strong, we have been here for a long time, and we can lift each other up,” Chavez said. “My poems saved me from feeling lost and inconsequential, they helped me remember what an honor and a blessing it is to be alive.”
In the book, Chavez shares intimate stories that honor the lives of the women in her family, especially. She also chronicles moments from her lived experiences, highlights intersectionality and the ways one survives and thrives in the face of injustice and adversity.
“I wanted to share my story because people of color continue to be underrepresented in publishing and our voices and stories matter,” Chavez said. “During the pandemic, I found myself feeling a deep desire and longing to get my words out in the world, and with the help of Alegría magazine and Davina Ferreira I was able to make my dream come true.”
As a Los Angeles native, it was important for Chavez to offer readers a book that included both of her languages and culture.
“Many places have English only or mostly English requirements, and I wanted to include both languages because this is the way I speak,” Chavez said. “I am fully bilingual, I am a proud daughter of immigrants, and my experiences speak to a broader context of Latinidad in the United States.”
“This Poem Might Save You (Me)” will appeal to a wide audience.
“My poems are from a variety of topics from hiking and being a single woman, to experiencing grief and loss,” Chavez said. “Everyone can find something to relate to in my poems, since I write about the human experience.”
In addition to being an author and poet, Chavez is a teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District and she is pursuing a master’s degree at UC Riverside. She is based in Highland Park. For more information about the author and her work visit: https://linktr.ee/chabemucho?utm_source=linktree_profile_share.
“This Poem Might Save You (Me)” is available for $20 via tinyurl.com/ThisPoemMay, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Target.