By Brian Dunlap
Originally published in Dryland
by Cynthia Guardado
January 18, 2017
World Stage Press
In Endeavor, Cynthia Guardado has penned 53 very personal poems. These poems that form her debut collection revolve around survival. The survival she discusses—surviving a misogynistic world, surviving the fear and violence of white supremacy or surviving the daily trauma of being invisible to the country at large, for example—stems from her perspective as a Salvadorian American woman from Inglewood, California.
As a woman of color Guardado understands Audre Lorde’s concept that “poetry is not a luxury.” Though Lorde, in her essay, is specifically speaking about black female poets’ needs to pen poems because it’s “a vital necessity for our existence” since it helps “form the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams towards our survival and change,” the concept easily applies to any female poet of color. Guardado uses this vital necessity to infuse her poems with an unshakeable rightness to her own witnessing.