Poet Yesika Salgado is one of five poets being showcased at The West Hollywood Gateway, for Poetry Month 2022. Located at 7100 Santa Monica Boulevard, The Gateway continues to support poets each year on the main digital billboard at the courtyard.
Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Not only are all 5 poets fixtures in the poetry, they also promote poetry within their community and teach writing workshops.
WeHo Times will feature all five poets during National Poetry Month 2022:
Yesika Salgado is a Los Angeles based Salvadoran poet who writes about her family, her culture, her city, and what she proudly refers as her “fat brown body.” She has shared her work in venues and campuses throughout the country. Salgado is a two time National Poetry Slam finalist and the recipient of the 2020 International Latino Book Award in Poetry. Her work has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Teen Vogue, Univision, Spotify, CNN and many more networks and publications. She is an internationally recognized body-positive activist and the writer of the column Suelta for Remezcla. Yesika is the author of the best-sellers Corazón, Tesoro, and Hermosa, published with Not a Cult.
Name: Yesika Salgado
Poetic works? Corazón, Tesoro and Hermosa all published by Not A Cult
How many years in Los Angeles? Born and raised.
What can you tell us about the excerpt on the billboard?
I love my city immensely. I have made it my life’s work to document Los Angeles through my eyes and the eyes of the communities I belong to. Gentrification is robbing us of so much, I refuse to let it take our stories too.
Does the West Hollywood Gateway or WEHO have significance for you?
Absolutely! I’ve been a life long bus rider and the Gateway has always been super accessible to my family and I. My little niece and I often go on shopping trips to its stores. I also remember grieving a lot all over its outdoor dining tables. I’d stop there on the way home sometimes. My father was very sick and my home felt very dark. I would get some coffee, people watch and write poems on my phone.
When and how did poetry find you?
Poetry found me in the first grade and it’s been saving my life ever since. At the time I came from a home with an undocumented mother and alcoholic father. there was a lot I couldn’t make sense of, I wrote poems until I could.
What has been a big poetry career moment?
Ah! I’ve been immensely blessed to have many of them. I think my favorite was being the only poet during a concert. I performed in Grand Park to a sea of Angeleno’s. I remember their faces and thinking “I belong to you”.
What has teaching writing meant to you?
It’s an honor to help give folks what this craft has given me. My favorite group of folks to teach are women & femmes of color. helping guide them to their stories feels sacred. I am always in awe of folks willingness to open their hearts.
How can people find out more about you and your workshops?
I am a social media girl! You can find me on Instagram or Twitter under the handle @yesikastarr.