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Chiqui Vicioso is a fundamental part of America’s history. Photo: Cámara Chila del Libro / Miguel Mena
Chiqui Vicioso is a fundamental part of America’s history.  Cámara Chila del Libro / Miguel Mena

Chiqui Vicioso’s Fight

The poet has dedicated her life to literature and women's equality.

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Poet, writer, sociologist and diplomat. Sherezada Vicioso, or as she is better known, Chiqui Vicioso, is part of the Hispanic heritage that has contributed to the history of the United States. Born in Santo Domingo, her story is a metaphor for Latin American immigration.

She left home early. Chiqui Vicioso studied between Brazil and the United States before finishing her studies in Sociology and Latin American History at Brooklyn College in New York. And that marked her historical commitment when writing. Always nonconformist, she also acquired at that time a great gender awareness. 

In those crazy 70s she met Angela Davis, who infected her with her perception of identity and began to define herself, out of solidarity with her, as a black woman. 

"And since then I have always identified with the black woman, I had to discover first that I was part of a certain geographical area and then, that I was Latin American," she said in a recent interview. 

Her works have come and gone from that recognized identity. In 2005 she wrote the monologue Nuyor/Islas, which first premiered in Santo Domingo and three weeks later, in Upper Manhattan. 

The text tells the story of an elderly woman who, after 35 years living in the United States, returns to the Dominican Republic to live in one of those new neighborhoods for "absent Dominicans". She feels lonely after so many years abroad and her only company is the television, day and night. 

She eventually returned to her Dominican Republic and from there she criticized the lack of a woman's perspective in the country's literature. Also in politics, where she considers that women have not been able to consolidate themselves politically due to a system that is still very conservative. 

During her career, the journey between literature and politics has been intense. She was a consultant for the UN Women's Development and also worked with UNICEF. With that experience she went on to take charge of the Gender portfolio in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in her country and ran for vice president with Guillermo Moreno for the Alianza País party. 

In her poetic side she maintained her feminist struggle. On March 9, 1985, when she had just returned to the Dominican Republic, she founded the Circle of Women Poets. The group evolved to what today is called the Circle of Women Creators, which involves more and more women. 

At the beginning of her work there is an indelible trace of that writer who was trained in the United States and since her return, she has not stopped searching for her roots until she acquired that personal and unique voice. 

Especially since Viaje desde el agua, her first book. Since then she has not stopped being both a writer and a loudspeaker of the works and history of all the women of her country.

Her work, also didactic, travels throughout the Americas and her name will have to be part of the history of the continent or it will not be complete. 

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