La Poeta Power
Playful, artful, and wholly memorable, these poems prove Erika Garza-Johnson deserving of her enduring moniker
A year and a half ago, the micro-press FlowerSong Books launched with the debut poetry collection of one of the Rio Grande Valley’s most unique voices—Erika Garza-Johnson, known to many as La Poeta Power.
Erika grew up in Elsa, Texas, and has been reading and performing her poetry in the Río Grande Valley since 2001. Garza-Johnson received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas Pan American.
A writing instructor at South Texas College, she has served as the poetry editor for New Border Voices: An Anthology (Texas A&M University Press, 2014) and ¡Juventud! Growing Up on the Border (VAO Publishing, 2013).
Additionally, her poetry has been featured online in La Bloga, Con Tinta, and Poets Against SB 1070. Her work has also appeared in Texas Observer and Border Senses.
Since the publication of Unwoven, her unflinchingly honest exploration of Chicana womanhood along the border, Erika has received wide critical acclaim, and her poetry is now on syllabi in multiple universities.
Not content with just the expression of her own expression as a mujer and nepantlera, she works with FlowerSong Books to bring the work of other border writers to the attention of readers everywhere.
About FlowerSong Books
FlowerSong Books exists to nurture essential words from the borderlands. The press is named for the Nahuatl phrase in xōchitl in cuīcatl—literally “the flower, the song,” a difrasismo or kenning for “poetry.” Its mission is to promote both the voices of writers in the Río Grande Valley and the literacy of Latinas and Latinos in general. To achieve these goals, FlowerSong hopes as it grows to implement a multi-tiered strategy: publishing a small number of titles by Valley authors (or by authors whose work would appeal to readers in the Valley) each year (the present catalogue includes work by Alejandro Cabada, Edward Vidaurre, Shirley Rickett and René Saldaña, Jr.); editing anthologies of established and upcoming writers whose work has special relevance to the Río Grande Valley; providing creative writing workshops to aspiring local writers; conducting writing contests for elementary and secondary children.