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    Renowned LGBTQ Latinx Poet’s Work Presented in New Collection

    By Michele Karlsberg–

    Michele Karlsberg: Emanuel Xavier’s poems are rooted in his experiences as a gay Latinx Nuyorican who survived an abusive childhood, abandonment, homelessness, addiction, and violence to speak openly about his experiences in hopes of inspiring others to pursue their dreams and live their lives to the fullest. Selected Poems brings together Xavier’s most groundbreaking poetry for the first time. This collection is an excellent starting point for understanding the power of poems as social commentary and gaining perspective on the Latinx experience. The following are two selections from this important work.

    Excerpt from ‘Beside Myself’

    “I came onto the scene thirsty to read the work of the LGBTQ and Latinx poets that came before me. I felt it was important to know that history and celebrate my literary forefathers. I hope this book at least captures a moment in time in our history. My words never moved any mountains but it is a testament that we were here and we fought to be noticed.”

    …Your words
    can no longer signal change. & opening doors
    does not mean you get to stay in the room. It
    gets crowded very quickly. You become invisible
    like the dead poets before you.

    Excerpt from ‘Walking with Angels’

    “I was out on the streets during my teens in the mid-80s when AIDS was rampant. I lost many friends along the way and, those who survived, have been living with HIV for decades only to now have to live through the COVID-19 pandemic. Both diseases have largely affected the people of color communities and, though I am personally an atheist, I believe in spirituality and hope we someday find a cure for these epidemics. This was written for a close friend. I participated several times in AIDS Walk New York, which was the inspiration for this poem, hence the title.”

                  if there is a God
                  he has disregarded our prayers
                  left his angels behind to journey along with us
                  —none of us knowing exactly where we are headed

    Emanuel Xavier was born in Brooklyn, New York, and became involved in the ball scene as a homeless gay teen. Over a span of twenty-five years, Xavier has received recognition as a spoken word artist from national colleges and universities. He has been named an LGBTQ Icon by The Equality Forum and has been presented a New York City Council Citation Award. Xavier has received an International Latino Book Award, Lambda Literary Award nominations, and American Library Association Over the Rainbow Books selections for his collections that include “Pier Queen,” “Americano,” “If Jesus Were Gay,” “Nefarious,” and “Radiance.” He is the recipient of a Gay City Impact Award and The Marsha A. Gomez Cultural Heritage Award.

    Michele Karlsberg Marketing and Management specializes in publicity for the LGBTQ+ community. This year, Karlsberg celebrates 32 years of successful marketing campaigns. For more information:

    Published on June 24, 2021