So proud of our Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs!
She pulled the book from her shelf and humbly agreed to read. And when she spoke, she did so in a poet’s voice, with conviction, passion and life.
“…I remember asking you if you had too much to deal with and you turned around and said to me in perfect Spanish: Nunca sabemos donde va a romperse la tela profesora. (We never know where the cloth will rip, professor).”
The poetry of professor Gabriella Gutierrez y Muhs not only spans multiple languages but multiple continents as well. Recently, Gutierrez y Muhs was selected to be the featured American poet at this year’s International Festival of Poetry, known as Kritya 2011, held in Nagpur, India.
To be nominated to such a position, a poet must be recommended by several other poets. Gutierrez y Muhs felt particularly honored when she found out that Alicia Partnoy, the chair of Spanish at Loyola Marymount, a poet, and social justice activist, was just one of the many people who submitted Gutierrez y Muhs’ name.
“It was particularly important because [Partnoy] is so incredible,” said Gutierrez y Muhs. “She’s done marvelous work in every way, [and it’s] invaluable that such a human being would recommend me.”
But Gutierrez y Muhs shines in her own way. In this day and age where issues involving identity and race are slowly building up in our country, Gutierrez y Muhs sees it as a wonderful opportunity to be the featured American poet. This is because she feels that she is not only the representative of America, but she is the face of America as well.
“I am Latina, but I’m also a Chicana, I’m also Mexican, I’m also American. I’m all those subjectivities,” Gutierrez y Muhs said. “So I find it particularly ironic and marvelously wonderful that I would be [nominated].”