CSULA Department of English lecturer Verónica Reyes' recent book, Chopper! Chopper! Poetry from Bordered Lives (Arktoi Books/Red Hen Press, 2013) has been nominated as a finalist in poetry for a 2014 Lambda Literary Award, as well as for a 2014 International Latino Book Award for poetry and book design. Reyes, born in East LA, earned a BA from Long Beach State University (1995) and an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Texas, El Paso (2000), and has taught in institutions of higher education across the continent. She writes: "Poetry saved me. I write to give voice to my communities—Mexican, malfloras, la jotería, writers, academics, familia—and to all my homes. I write to bridge and fill in the gaps in the literary world. I write so that queer youth, straight kids, neighbors, Mexicanas/os can see a reflection of themselves in literature."
For more information on Verónica Reyes and her work, you can check out a recent radio interview conducted by Ben Saenz and Daniel Chacon, on KTEP’s Words on a Wire. She was also featured in a recent interview by the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Her work has also recently been featured on the Ms. Magazine blog and alongside other Lambda Literary Award finalists at The Advocate; she has an additional poem, “Bad Flower,” forthcoming in spring of 2014 at The Minnesota Review.