By Brian Dunlap
Cynthia Guardado is a poet who deeply cares about social justice issues. With her perspective as a Salvadorian American poet from Inglewood, California, it’s no surprise. It’s her experiences as a woman of color that drives her to speak out about misogyny, white supremacy and reclaiming her right to her feelings and experiences and to express them, in her poetry.
Having grown up in and around Los Angeles, Guardado attended Palms Middle School (at the same time I did, but I didn’t meet her till graduate school at Fresno State) and James A. Foshay Learning Center for high school located in the Exposition Park Neighborhood of Los Angeles.
In addition to being a poet, Guardado is a professor of English at Fullerton College. All her teaching is informed by her social justice work. The following Facebook comment exemplifies her drive and the reality of doing such teaching: “When you are doing the work that needs to be done in terms of social justice, it also means that there are really tough days where you learn how your students are being affected by this system and new administration.” Some of the topics and issues she discusses and has her critical thinking and English Comp students write about include: current perspectives of immigrants and how they are constantly dehumanized by this society, government and administration.
Cynthia Guardado currently lives in the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles. Also, she has a poem in the newly released anthology The Wandering Song: Central American Writing in the United States published by L.A.’s Tia Chucha Press. It’s the first-ever comprehensive literary survey of the Central American diaspora by a U.S. publisher.