Being Latina/e/o/x Series

Symbol Not Recognized

“Bureaucracy is colonization’s filing system; at Ellis and Angel island where people were renamed with ‘American’ names, at the border where children are being separated from their families, and thus their namesakes, a brutality perfected in Native Boarding Schools. Over the centuries of the Transatlantic slave trade, cultures, names and entire lineages were stripped from the people in a brutalist gesture to weaken identity. That is why we insist on our complication, our trickiness, reminding the systems that we are multitudes,” Ana Reyes-Bonar. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series

All My Safe Spaces Are Dead

“All My Safe Spaces Are Dead” is a look at the upheaval and restructuring of my sense of self. My sense of safety is a horizon I never seem to reach; a mirage that morphs into something new once I tear my gaze away from its lies. Yet I wake up every morning looking for it, craving it, being unable to live without it. This is my hunt for a place to call home. […]

Womanhood & Trauma Series — "Give Us a Smile"

Four Poems

While love seems to be the most common quality of a happy life, our first exposure to love starts in the home. These poems exemplify the influence parent-child relationships have on one’s experience of self-love and even romantic love. […]

Womanhood & Trauma Series — "Give Us a Smile"

Tell Me If This Hurts

“Tell Me If This Hurts” portrays the gruesome aftermath of a sexual assault. From being insulted by the police, re-living trauma during the rape kit, to finding out the offender was on the force: this story depicts the challenges and pains of being a rape survivor. […]

Womanhood & Trauma Series — "Give Us a Smile"

All Woman

“All Woman” chronicles the impact of sexual harassment in adolescence through adulthood, and the altered perspective of the world it cultivates. The harassment, however, is portrayed as a reclaimed point of connection, however unfortunate, from which women can bond, heal, and become stronger from sharing experiences and supporting one another. […]

Womanhood & Trauma Series — "Give Us a Smile"

fleas. & their five life stages.

This piece clings to the life cycle of a flea to process a sexual assault. In comparing the five stages of a flea’s life to the events that occurred, this author attempts to find closure while addressing her nameless yet personally known perpetrator directly. […]

Womanhood & Trauma Series — "Give Us a Smile"

Planting Seeds

Two decades after a newlywed suggests divorce, she writes a letter to her ex-husband, both an apology and an explanation for what she couldn’t understand at the time. Their son is now the age she was on that fateful night, in a sweltering bedroom in her mother’s apartment, waiting for her husband to come home. […]

Womanhood & Trauma Series — "Give Us a Smile"

Remember to Forget: A Coping Mechanism

During a poetry open mic, Angelia Saplan explores the relentlessness of trauma and the elusiveness of the act of remembering. As she revisits her childhood sexual assault at the hands of a family member, she confronts its harrowing repercussions on her relationship with her mother — and herself. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series

Scales

Referencing some chimeric composition of fish, eczema, and weight, “Scales” is a personal essay exploring the swimming pool as a liminal space where the water’s distortions allow its pubescent narrator to linger outside heteronormative perceptions she doesn’t yet have the vocabulary to understand. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series

Three Poems

In “A Study In Plants”, “The Image Surprises”, and “When I Was A Boy”, yearning takes center-stage as Sarah Sala comes to terms with loving and/or losing the women in her life: this includes deceased great-grandmothers, estranged sisters, the woman she loves and marries, and herself. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series

Unlade

“Unlade,” a braided essay, unpacks the legal ruling allowing same-sex marriages to be recognized throughout the United States in the midst of Cie moving into a new apartment. There, unknown and without a center, Cie uses music and Pixy Liao’s Experimental Relationship photography collection to reflect on and explore sexuality. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series

I, The Universe

The narrator struggles with coming to terms with his identity as he grows up in a sheltered village in rural France. The story takes the format of a mock-scientific theory presenting evidences before reaching a conclusion, through the metaphor of the universe and space. […]

Being Latina/e/o/x Series

Five Cent Secret

After a beloved grandfather dies, long held secrets come into sharp focus. “Five Cent Secret,” by Court Castaños, explores the complexities of having both white privilege and Mexican roots. […]

Being Mixed-Race

California

“California” captures the experiences of a young multiracial girl as she watches the white world of her mother and the Japanese-American of her father collide. On a summer evening, she begins to understand why her parents chose to make a life for their family in a small town. […]

Womanhood & Trauma Series — "Give Us a Smile"

Into Eros

Drawing on her experience of intimate partner abuse at 15, Zoë Brigley considers the possibility of sex after rape. Anne Carson’s assertion that Eros is “the biggest risk of your life” takes on a new meaning within legacies of trauma, and on a quest to rediscover desire and healing. […]

Being Latina/e/o/x Series

Four Poems on Latinidad by Anthony Orozco

“Encantado” — An ode to Boricuas, who showed up en masse to the first Puerto Rican festival in Reading, Pa, in over a decade. The city’s first Latino mayor was freshly elected, the aftermath of Maria is behind them, and they continue to grapple with the perception of being not “real Americans. // ”mano a mano” — A call for unity, advocacy, and pride among Latinos. It honors the massive contributions and hidden hardships of our people. The poem momentarily erases our cultural, national, and class barriers to connect us as one. // “Conquest” — Written and performed with the oral tradition in mind, it is a vulnerable and visceral defense of mixed-race, mixed-culture people. When people try to control what Latinidad means or looks like, though they do not know the multi-cultural and sordid past of Latin America, this poem is used to refute claims of “not being Latino” enough. // “Land of the Cinder Block” — Also written and performed with the oral tradition in mind, this piece is an ode to my father’s homeland of Chihuahua, Mexico. It examines the state’s dual nature of being equally beautiful and perilous, of being sacred and frightening. […]

Being Mixed-Race Series

Episode 25: Round-Table Discussion on Race

Nasiona podcast producers and editors Aïcha Martine Thiam, Nicole Zelniker, and Julián Esteban Torres López explore why it’s so difficult to discuss race, how race differs in different countries, race in publishing, share personal anecdotes, and give our take on Jordan Peele’s “documentary” Get Out. We also have a post-production conversation about The Nasiona’s Being Mixed-Race podcast series: what hit home for us, what we learned, and what surprised us. […]

Being Latina/e/o/x Series

Episode 24: Tono Latino

Today’s guest is the founder of Tono Latino, Sylvia Salazar—a Colombian immigrant and a computer engineer turned political activist. She is determined to change Latino representation in politics and in media. Tono Latino is a progressive platform that informs and educates Latinos about politics in the United States and encourages them to become more involved and vote. Why should the Latinx community get more politically involved? What are the potential consequences if we do not? Listen to find out. […]

Being LGBTQIAA+ Series

The Audacity to Live

“The Audacity to Live” is a personal essay that centers around Alondra Adame’s experience as a daughter of immigrants and as a queer woman of color wrestling with her parents’ expectations while learning to become independent and navigating higher education. […]

Being Latina/e/o/x Series

Episode 23: Traces of Home

Filmmaker Colette Ghunim on her first feature-length documentary: “Traces of Home tells the story of what happens when we as first-generation Americans go back to our roots to find out how where we come from shapes our identity. Through Traces of Home, I am telling my own personal story. I’m half Mexican and half Palestinian and both my parents were forced to leave their homes as children, and they both never returned since then. So through my film, we’re going back to Mexico and Palestine to try to find the original houses and to talk about why people are leaving and immigrating and why refugees are leaving as well, during a time when we need to hear it the most.” […]