Fifth generation Tucsonan poet explains what is lost in the name of Progress.
As a fifth-generation Tucsonan, Mari Herreras always embraced what she describes as “this gravel-lot town’s ugly, weird, and beautiful,” during her decade as a staff writer and editor at the Tucson Weekly. Her poetry, like her journalism, simultaneously celebrates and reveals the harsh and lush reality of her gentrifying desert city and more. As a journalist, Herreras focused on those often-difficult stories surrounding Mexican American Studies at Tucson Unified School District, regional development, as well as a home-town people like no other. In AT GRANDE AND CONGRESS, the poetry chapbook published by R&R Press out June 2023, Herreras focuses most often on family, the desert, and the tender complexities of identity and being Chicana.
Poetry. Women's Studies.
Tucson writer and historian Lydia Otero, author of La Calle: Spatial Conflicts and Urban Renewal in a Southwest City and In the Shadows of the Freeway: Growing Up Brown and Queer, says, “Mari Herreras’ debut collection of poems and reflections is a must read for those looking beyond caliche and concrete to appreciate the life experiences and perceptions of a fifth generation Chicana ... As I read each poem, it became clear to me that this author knows and loves Tucson.”
Mari Herreras is a fifth-generation Tucsonan who loves her desert city for all its good, bad and ugly. As a hobby she regularly gets pissed at the local powers-that-be. When she's not scowling and writing poetry, she keeps her son and mom close, as well as the sad cholla in the front yard she won't give up on. Her first book of poems, AT GRANDE AND CONGRESS, is out July 2023 from R&R Press.