Monday, February 19, 2018

Irene Sanchez

Poetry has always been political.  A means to raise a voice that needs to be raised. For this month's second feature I am happy to feature a writer who has established a presence for her literary skills as well as her passion as an activist.  Irene Monica Sanchez is a fantastic writer, academic and educator.  I asked her to provide a brief rundown of who she is.  Below you can also find a poem she wrote about the vibrant city which she is closely tied to, Pomona.  

"Irene Sanchez is an educator, poet, public scholar, and writer committed to social justice. She engages with people through projects she works on and centers social justice in her work by producing stories, essays, talks, presentations, workshops, poetry, and academic research/writing.  Irene has spoken/presented/keynoted at: University of Washington-Seattle, Highline CC, Everett CC, South Seattle CC, Reed College, Chapman University, Harvard University, Adelante Mujer Latina, University of California, Riverside, National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies, El Mundo Zurdo (Society for the Study of Gloria Anzaldua), OC Ethnic Studies Summit, Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social, Mira Costa College, Fresno State University, UC Students of Color Conference, UC Davis and more. 

She has had her work/writing featured by KPFK 90.7 Los Angeles, KPCC-Southern California Public Radio, Latino Rebels Radio, Telesur English, Inside Higher Education, NASPA, and The American Federation of Teachers. She is the co-founder of The Southwest Political Report and Xicana Ph.D. Blog where you can find some of her writings. She is a danzante of the Aztec/Mexica tradition. She is also the co-host of a monthly poetry open mic at Café con Libros in Pomona, CA called Poetry y Pan.

Now based out of the San Gabriel Valley in LA County, Irene teaches high school Latinx Studies and can often be found at a community/cultural event with her family."

For more information visit her page here.


When I was younger I wondered
What lies beyond the horizon 
As the Santa Ana winds call me to move closer to it
There is more to see
Beyond where these valleys end 
And mountains begin 

Where poetry nights
Are held by dim lights
And memories blink rapidly 
As you travel these freeways

How can you be in two places at once
It is not the IE or LA
But to you it is 
Where you are supposed to be

Pomona was a place I hardly spoke of 
I left Southern CA
I left him
A place I worked and made a home
Out of another person
Before I learned a person could never be a home

Foothill and Garey 
At 4am
Is cold 
I was 18
Newly married
Trying to make something 
Out of gifts I didn’t know I had

Open the door 
The bell rings
I took orders 
They came by the dozen 
Just like the prayers I had spoken when I
Thought no one was listening

I wanted my life to be as sweet as the morning I boxed 
So I placed them carefully
Knowing one day 
I would have to leave all that was 
Warm and comforting
Like those mornings
And how they masked the cold

After the shift ends
I took a drive 
By the Glass House
Stopping by The Globe
Before I became apart of something bigger
Beyond this new horizon I realized
There was more to see

So I left all that I ever knew
Hoping I could come back to it 
But all these years later I see 
How it came to me 

That in Pomona
Is where I learned to 
Make a home made of dreams 

I thought I had lost

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