Four books by Honduran authors you should have on your radar
From the coup d'état in Honduras in 2009 to the Pulse shooting, Honduran literature is as wide and rich as the universe of its authors.
Roy G. Guzmán
Published in 2018, Guzmán wrote Pulse/Pulse in the days and weeks following the Pulse club shooting in June 2016. A story that spreads and branches out like an olive branch to tell us about resistance to the toxic culture of gun violence that murders queer and trans people of color.
Roy Guzmán is a Honduran gender non-binary poet, educator, and activist living in Minneapolis, where he is pursuing a PhD in Cultural Studies at the University of Minnesota.
A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, and a Scribe for Human Rights Fellowship, Guzmán is also the author of the poetry collection Catrachos (2020).
Published in 2016, the book tells 13 stories of women in the Honduran resistance following the 28 July 2009 coup d'état against President Manuel Zelaya.
The high-profile helicopter kidnapping, which was also the first coup d'état of the 21st century in Central America, provoked a huge reaction in the country and thousands of people took to the streets.
Melissa Cardona describes this period as the times when "demonstrations were poetry in the streets" in a moving book in bilingual format translated by Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle.
Cardona is a journalist and Afro-indigenous human rights activist who has also written children's books, such as Tengo una tía que no es monjita (2004) -illustrated by Margarita Sada.
Winner of the Premio Nacional de Poesía Los Confines, one of the most prestigious literary awards in Honduras, 33 revoluciones para Rodríguez is a strange collection of poems written in homage to Sixto Rodríguez, the Mexican composer and artist who wrote Sugar Man and became a legend in South Africa while living in Detroit.
Estrada is one of the most outstanding voices in Honduran poetry, noted for his use of orality and the vivid images he draws with words, as well as his rebelliousness towards the canon and his experimentation.
His works also include Sextos de lluvia (1998), Solares (2004), Poesía: papel de oficio (2005), Imposible un ángel (2005), Poemas de Onda Corta (2009), Houdini vuelve a casa (2015), Blake muere en París a causa de un paparazzo (2018), Osos que regresan a la radioactiva soledad de Chernóbil (2019), and La era Pre Schumann (2021). Estrada has organised the cultural group Fábrica de Escándalos in Tegucigalpa.
Compiled by Saraciea J. Fennell
Edited by The Bronx Is Reading founder Saraciea Fennell and featuring a cast of Latino contributors, Wild Tongues Can't Be Tamed is an indomitable rarity in the YA book market.
It features writers from the Latino diaspora challenging myths and stereotypes about the community - from migration to sexuality, music to language.
Participating authors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Cristina Arreola, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Naima Coster, Natasha Díaz, Kahlil Haywood, Zakiya Jamal, Janel Martínez, Jasminne Méndez, Meg Medina, Mark Oshiro, Julian Randall, Lilliam Rivera and Ibi Zoboi.
Although we will have to wait until this autumn to see Fennell's anthology published in bookstores, the book is already on pre-sale.