Friday, June 12, 2015

Poem of the Week: Sheila Maldonado

great blood

you come from greatness

remember that

you are the descendant of great kings

remember that

the descendant of great brutal kings

great big violent kings
who forced hundreds of slaves to make temples
still around to this day

you are from great big brutal kings
who tore out hearts
if they had to

who got big buildings made
that people who can afford it
still visit

remember that

if you have to
you can make people your slaves
and get your building up

you can tear out a heart

if you have to

you have kings in your blood

remember that

Used with permission. Photo by Gabriel García Román.

Sheila Maldonado is the author of one-bedroom solo (Fly by Night Press/A Gathering of the Tribes, 2011), her debut poetry collection. She grew up in Coney Island across the street from the Atlantic. Her family hails from Honduras. Her poems have appeared in Rattapallax, Callaloo,  Hyperallergic, Aster(ix) Journal, and Me No Habla with Acento: Contemporary Latino Poetry. She has been granted awards from the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance as well as residencies at the Rockefeller estate in New York and Fundación Valparaíso in Spain. She also served as a Cultural Envoy to Honduras for the U.S. State Department. Maldonado teaches creative writing for The City University of New York and Teachers & Writers Collaborative. She holds degrees in English from Brown University and poetry from The City College of New York. She lives in uptown Manhattan above the Hudson.

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