For a bibliophile, fall might be the synonym of cozy nights reading amazing books, while drinking a pumpkin spice latte, or even wine, and for some authors, autumn might be another season of inspiration and a good chance to write a new tale. But for Los Angeles based Salvadoran poet Yesika Salgado, her family, her culture, her city, and her brown body are enough inspiration to write the books you do not want to miss this time of the year.
Salgado is the Co-founder of the Latina feminist collective Chingona Fire, an internationally recognized body positivity activist, a four-time member of Da Poetry Lounge Slam Team and a 2017 and the 2018 National Poetry Slam finalist, plus the author of Hermosa, a book that comprises the journey of firsts, of mistakes, of celebrations, of the love, the crush, the disaster, the rebuilding, and the never-ending cycle of growth.
Described by Salgado as the path to becoming one’s own home, Hermosa helped her to understand who she is and who she has been. “I want my work to be in unconventional places. You write in poetry journals to get fellowships and grants, not for an audience,” says Salgado to the Los Angeles Times. “My readers don’t read journals — they are homegirls that normally wouldn’t be interested in poetry or they’ve always read poetry and find me.”
Known as the “Instapoet” and with over 62,000 followers on Instagram, Salgado connects with her readers, usually, Millennial Latinas, that according to her are “the hoops, lipstick kind of girl” and read her journals as a way to feel closer to home. Before her unexpected social media fame, Salgado used to share her poetry in 2005 through HipHop Poetry. There she served as a contributor for three years.
“She definitely became one of the more known people on the website. Her writing was similar to what it is today — outspoken with an edge, but you still see vulnerability,” says Erik Maldonado, poet and founder of the website, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
Her poetry is definitely making moves, and Salgado has had the opportunity to perform in venues, participate in a 2017 Planned Parenthood campaign and write a monthly column for Remezcla. “I take pride in saying that I created something where institutions have to come to me. I don’t get you, you have to get me. I want to continue building a career like that. And it’s happening so far.”
To find Hermosa and all Yesika Salgado’s Book of Poems visit Amazon and Barnes and Noble.