Caridad Moro-Gronlier

Cindy Seip

Caridad Moro-Gronlier is a Cuban American lesbian poet born in Los Angeles to Cuban immigrant parents. She is the author of the chapbook Visionware, a contributing editor of Grabbed: Poets & Writers on Sexual Assault, Empowerment & Healing, and associate editor for SWWIM Every Day, an online daily poetry journal. Tortillera: Poems (Texas Review Press) is her debut collection. The word “tortillera” means lesbian in Español. The moniker is familiar to most Spanish-speaking cultures, but is especially particular to the Cuban experience. In most Cuban American households, to be called a tortillera is a catcall that whips through the air like a lash whose only intention is to wound, to scar. Here, Moro-Gronlier not only applies the term to herself, she owns it, drapes it over her shoulders and heralds her truth through candid, unflinching poems that address the queer experience of coming out while Cuban. The first half of the book immediately plunges the reader into the speaker’s Cuban American life on-the-hyphen through vivid, first-person narratives. The work contained within the collection befits its audacious title – bold, original and utterly without shame. Jenny Molberg, author of Refusal: Poems, celebrated it. “An unflinching, delicious, and fierce anthem to Cuban American and queer identities, Tortillera reclaims the homophobic slur of its title, engaging and subverting the canonical tradition of the love poem.”