Ever since I saw the cover art of Peluda from Button Poetry, I just knew I had to read this book. Peluda is a book of poetry, spoken word, by Melissa Lozada-Oliva that speaks about difference from varying perspectives; it speaks about self and what Latina and Spanish women experience in a often whitewashed beauty world; it speaks on the immigrant experience and on language expectations; it speaks on the loss of culture, of identity, and of life experiences. What I liked most about Peluda (and what I find that most contemporary poetry has difficulty in) is its ability to take a moment — a personal memory, an experience, or a phrase one hears — and turn it into something bigger — into a conversation about place, about culture, and about history, while at the same time, reflecting on the moment’s impact on one’s self. One thing I know after reading Peluda: Melissa Lozada-Oliva is a master crafter in the art of language and in the beauty of poetry.
Excerpt © Melissa Lozada-Oliva from “You Know How to Say Arroz con Pollo but Not What You Are”:
Peluda is a short 54 page book containing 21 poems. But each poem has the ability to take you in, to absorb you and hold you down. Like Petrificus Totalus, your eyeballs will be the only thing moving across the page. I sincerely enjoyed reading this book. Support independent authors and publishers! READ IT!
About Melissa Lozada-Oliva
Melissa Lozada-Oliva is a spoken word poet & educator living in Boston whose fierceness and charm have made her a near-instant slam poetry phenomenon. She is a National Poetry Slam Champion, a Brenda Moosey Video Slam Champion, and the author of the chapbook Plastic Pájaros.
Her ability to speak truth to power as an unapologetically feminist Latina comes as a breath of fresh air to audiences perhaps expecting the “same old slam poetry”. Blending power, warmth, and flat-out hilarity, Melissa leaves audiences not only excited about changing the world, but excited about being a part of that change.
Watch Melissa Lozada-Oliva perform “Black Thong Underwear” from 2015: