Two new poems about Ecuador

Ecuador’s men’s soccer team is off to a solid start in the World Cup—which is my awkward segue into the announcement that I have two new poems paying homage to this side of my heritage. 

I’m thrilled to have my poem “La Iglesia of the Stone Creatures” included in the new Sonder issue of Lucky Jefferson.  I would like to share a collective message from the Sonder contributors and editors: “This issue brings 23 writers together to generate admiration for the communities around us.  There are a wealth of experiences and moments outside of ourselves that shape life itself, and we hope after enjoying work from this issue, that you are inspired to pause and admire your friends, neighbors, and strangers.” 

In my opinion, the ability to think about and care deeply for the experiences and wellbeing of others, especially those we don’t even know or barely know, is one of our most valuable, precious, powerful callings. 

For “La Iglesia of the Stone Creatures,” I thought of my experiences visiting a couple of churches in Quito when I was younger, including la Basílica del Voto Nacional, which has these amazing gargoyle-like statues of animals native to the region. 

In the photo above, about a quarter of the way down is a row of the stone creatures.

And speaking of converting my travel experiences in Ecuador into poetry, my poem “The Middle of the World” is available in the Edges & Borders issue of Pilgrimage.  This one was inspired by the first time I visited the Monument to the Equator, la Mitad del Mundo, and then later when I saw a photo from when my parents had visited there years before, back when there was hardly anything around it. 

Nowadays there’s a nice plaza with shops and eateries and exhibits surrounding the monument.  My husband and I bought some art there that’s hanging up on our wall. 

In unrelated poetry news, I also have a haiku (which I call “Chill”) in the Autumn Moon special edition of Plum Tree Tavern.  I have one more piece of news to share, but this post is getting long.  I’ll save it for later this week.