Lorna Dee Cervantes

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Lorna Dee Cervantes

Lorna Dee Cervantes (August 6, 1954) is an Chicana poet and activist.


  • Reading African American women poets politicized me. And it was the fact that poetry politicized me that had to do with then saving my life. Then all of the sudden, I started questioning; that's the dynamic of oppression, and especially as a child and as a woman, a girl coming into it. You look around, and you don't see anybody like you in positions of power, and you don't even question it. You just assume that you are not going to achieve anything and [that] no one expects anything from you. And so when I started reading this poetry, then I started questioning and questioning real hard. And I got angry.
  • I intended all of that. And this is what I like about this, and drawings like draw, like the gunman. I call this the shoot out, the high noon draw. That was also my intent as well as drawings; draw a bucket back to the cables and the whole idea about drawings…
  • This is the conscience of trauma. This is a grief book. That's how I refer to it, privately. It's my grief book because my mother was murdered, and raped, and battered. Then they burned the house down. I was dealing with that and with my divorce, and all of that stuff When people ask me, do you believe that everybody can write poetry, in a certain sense, yes, in a certain sense, no. Not everybody can write poetry…
  • When I first went to Mexico in 1974 and was involved in Chicano teatro—Mexican American guerilla theater—I realized that my politics and my poetry could merge; suddenly it wasn’t just for me. Before then, I didn’t share this poetry; I kept it in notebooks…

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