Guatemalan descent, Melissa Lozada-Oliva is a nationally touring poet, educator, and bookseller from Boston, Massachusetts. She is the 2015 National Poetry Slam Champion, a Brenda Mosley Video Slam Winner, and currently an MFA candidate at NYU’s poetry program.
Peluda explores the intersecting narratives of body image, hair removal, and Latina identity.
“Melissa Lozada-Oliva’s poems make space for themselves beautifully, spilling blood and opening bodies to illuminate the trauma of living as a brown woman in America. These are poems that exist both because of and in spite of generations of pain and oppression, and they do so with a compelling force that leaves the language in your head long after you’ve stopped reading.”
-Joshua Jennifer Espinoza
.How the poet reverses “the insult,” to empower and celebrate the women in her life?
.In “You Know How To Say Arroz con Pollo but Not What You Are,” the poet points out the linguistic divide between her parents and her, a first-generation child. Expand on her complex relationship with the Spanish language.
. “My Hair Stays on Your Pillow” examines prejudices against Latinas and the self-doubts produced by whitewashed beauty standards. Discuss.