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Welcome to another Author Spotlight! These spotlights showcase authors’ (predominantly women and people of color) writing talents and published works. As you may or may not know, I do theme weeks of prominent holidays/events throughout the year on my site. For Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month, I feature authors in the Latinx and/or Hispanic community. So, without further ado, let’s meet author S. Salazar!

About the Author:

author S. Salazar

S. Salazar is a mixed-Puerto Rican author living in diaspora in the Pacific Northwest. Her work has been featured in Harpur Palate, The Acentos Review, Poet Lore, Booth Journal, and elsewhere. Her work explores generational trauma, identity, Latinx heritage, diaspora, and mental health. Her book, Raíces, Relics, and Other Ghosts (Kelsay Books 2023) is her debut collection. When she isn’t writing, she can be found hiking with loved ones, talking to her parrot, Gizmo, and gushing over every dog she sees.

When did you start your love for writing?

My love for writing stems from my love of music and my exposure to a whimsical poetry book making project in middle school. Poetry is a gorgeous balance between linguistic and visual art, a combo of two artforms I’ve spent my whole life loving. 

Of all of the book genres, what drew you to write about yours?

beverage in cup next to open book
Photo by Ena Marinkovic on

I felt compelled to write my book in the poetry genre because, sometimes, when the themes are so big and heavy (trauma, diaspora, loss, grief, etc.), I find that shorter, more emotionally charged pieces are more effective to get the messages across. Poetry is perfect for that. 

How does your writing connect with your heritage? 

My writing connects to my heritage through the (re)discovery of it. My parents didn’t teach me about any part of Puerto Rican culture. I didn’t have any contact with mis tios and my cousins until three years ago. Writing this book created a bridge from me to them. The only reason I’m connected to my heritage is because I had an idea to start a book after years of silently asking why transformed into asking out loud. 

assorted coloured umbrellas hanging near buildings
Photo by Reynaldo #brigworkz Brigantty on

What’s your favorite Latinx/Hispanic story or character? 

Oh my goodness, there’s so many. For young adult books, my favorite titles are Everything Within and in Between by Nikki Bartholemess, Color Me In by Natasha Diaz, and The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin A. Saenz. For Poetry, some some of my favorite titles are The Carrying by Ada Limón, How to Pull Apart the Earth by Karla Cordero, Cenzias by Cynthia Guardado, and A Small Story About the Sky by Alberto Rios.


What is one thing about your culture that you wish more people knew about?

I wish I knew more about everything, but I most importantly want to learn more about my culture’s (dis)connection to the Earth, including agriculture (Abuela grew up on a farm), and speaking/writing in Spanish more. My collection was my introduction to using Spanish more. It would also be so amazing to learn the dialect-specific words you can’t learn in textbooks or on Duolingo. Most of all though, I wish I knew more about where to find spaces in-person to learn about and celebrate my Puerto Rican culture. Rural spaces make this challenging.

What makes your book(S)/writing special?

My poetic voice is unique. I can switch from being casual to literary real quick, and the switch feels appropriate to the subject/tone I want. I’m learning more about voice all the time, especially through reading, but so far as I’ve been told, I’ve managed to teach myself voice pretty well. My book also has some spectacular concrete/shape poems, which is quite unique when it comes to form.

So…what are you working on now?

Oh man, what am I not working on? Right now, I’m enrolled in a MFA program. So, I’m working on a second poetry collection. This one focuses on mental health/illness/wellbeing, especially anxiety/generalized anxiety disorder and the symptoms/struggles comorbid with it. I also have a manuscript that deals with inherited trauma in relation to mental illness and diaspora. 

My goodness, S. Salazar has a lovely personality! Salazar, I know you’ll go far with your poems and your academic endeavors!  I wish you all the best in your future writing endeavors! You can reach her at:

Thank you all for reading, and remember:

Live. Love. Laugh.

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