Hermosa by Yesika Salgado

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In the poetry collection “Hermosa”, Yesika Salgado brings forth a life in multitudes as she writes about her home of Los Angeles, lingering love, the healing power of friendship, childhood memories brought into the stark light of adulthood, complicated deaths of people who were difficult to love, the cultured gender norms in her Salvadoran family, and more. Salgado both grieves for the LA she recognizes as being deformed by gentrification while honoring her deep love for it, reveling in the anonymity of city life and her Polaroid-picture-nostalgia for its nooks and quirks.

With bright, crisp language, Salgado’s poetry is a fiery heart laid open. Each verse thrums with energy as Salgado gives space for every emotion and every detail—from heartbreak to soil tracked into the house, from long, running verses, to just a line or two that needed to be written all on their own. Salgado is a natural storyteller whose pride in all of her brilliant, flawed, and tender self truly shines through in the collection.

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…those were my favorite stories. women doing what women don’t do. I imagined all the beer I’d drink when I got older. I’d chug it down like a cold soda and burp loudly on purpose. I’d cackle big and booming. wouldn’t care when the mujeres say ¡esa nina es tremenda! instead I’d lift another beer and say ¡asi es! ¡salud!

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