In Spring of 2015, the editors of Gulf Coast asked Eduardo C. Corral, author of Slow Lightning and winner of the 2011 Yale Younger Poets prize, if he’d be willing to send us some new work for possible inclusion in this issue. Eduardo turned our question around: What if he selected a portfolio of work by upcoming Latina, Latinx, or Latino poets for publication? As a CantoMundo fellow, Eduardo’s desire to bring the work of newer poets to the fore came as no surprise; indeed, over the months it took to realize this exciting portfolio, Eduardo, in his generosity and taste, has become for us an editorial role model. His selections have been prescient: two of the poets—Erika L. Sánchez and Javier Zamora—announced as we went to press with this portfolio that their first books had been picked up by Graywolf and Copper Canyon respectively. Much like Eduardo, all of the poets in his selection are concerned, in some way, with advocating for the work of others: Alexandra Lytton Regalado co-founded Kalina Press; Marcelo Hernandez Castillo and Javier Zamora, together with Christopher Soto, started the Undocupoets campaign, which achieved its aim of eliminating citizenship requirements from all poetry first book prizes in the U.S.; Benjamin Garcia, Yesenia Montilla and Erika L. Sánchez are CantoMundo Fellows. We are honored to have these poets in Gulf Coast.
“To be honest,” Eduardo wrote when we asked him to write a short introduction to this selection, “I’m weary of intros. I’d rather let the work do all the talking.” In that spirit, turn the page.