DIARO #5 / ROMANCERO HINCHADO #3, $?, 5½” x 8½”, 14 pgs.

Mari Santa Cruz and Ana Ortiz Valera are Latinx writers who help organize la Liga, a digital art zine of sorts, and this is their split zine. Cruz’s side features a series of prose poems printed over pictures of home, family photos, and line drawings. Valera’s romanceros, or folk ballads, are surrounded by collaged photo cutouts and address varied topics—the Virgin Mary, Valera as a young girl, and the United States. Mari Santa Cruz’s voice is driving. In Diaro, Cruz writes “TO UNDERSTAND MY MOTHER IS TO UNDERSTAND MYSELF. TO UNDERSTAND MY MOTHER’S BEHAVIOR INFORMED MY GRANDMOTHER’S ACTIONS IS TO UNDERSTAND MYSELF [AND] TO UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT THAT GENERATED [THEM] MAKES ME […] HEAL, FORGIVE AND IMPROVE.” Conversely, Ana Ortiz Valera’s poems in Romancero Hinchado are a little more winding and textured: “Virgencita, tu alguna vez te perdiste?” begins one. “La mía no se perdio, a mi me la arrancaron. Ese dia que maldeci mis partes rosas; el dia que dejaron de sentirse honestas y se hicieron sal.”* The combined effect makes for a good poetry zine. Check out the digital component, la Liga, to see what else these writers are up to. *(My dumpy translation: “Virgencita, did you ever get lost? / I didn’t get lost, I got ripped off. / That day I cursed my pink parts; / The day they stopped feeling honest and made salt.”) –Jim Joyce (laligazine.com, anaortizvarela@gmail.com)