three photo-poems

by Iuri Lara

Iuri Lara.jpg

Iuri Morales Lara                                  contributor 2014 first edition



Iuri Morales Lara holds a B.A. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California in Berkeley and an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of California in Riverside. Her poetry has appeared in The American Poetry Review, The Academic Journal for MALCS, Mujeres de Maiz Art and Poetry Zine, Seeds of Resistance Art and Poetry Zine and La Bloga’s Poets Responding to SB1070. She is currently working on a high school teaching credential in English from Chapman University, an artivist with Seed’s of Resistance womyn’s art collective, and involved in experimental music projects that combine Xicano@ music, hip-hop and poetry.

about the images

“Soldadera de Amor, Poem for Isidra Morales” (1) was first published by “Mujeres de Maiz,” Womyn’s Art Collective from Los Angeles in 2011.

“Corazon Florido” (2) and “Agustina Ramirez, Angostura 1970″ (3) were exhibited as part of the “Tortilla Warrior” visual art exhibit hosted by Seeds of Resistance at El Centro Cultural de Mexico in Santa Ana (2012).

The photo-poems were inspired by my mother’s sister and oldest aunt, Maria Luz Lara, who I consider to be our family’s historian. She has more than ten large photo albums with old photographs dating back to the 1950′s, taken in Guanajuato, California and Sinaloa (the place where our family originates, and places where they have migrated). Since my childhood I have been exposed to old pictures containing images of family members who died before I was born.

Meditating on stories I have heard about their lives and looking at their photographed bodies, I feel I am in direct conversation with them as I insert lines of poetry onto the old photographs. Before doing this I ask my aunt if I can borrow a few pictures from her albums (if I promise to return them), I say a small prayer for them on my altar, perhaps light a candle, then I scan the photograph so I can access it on a computer program that allows me to insert text. I insert an already written poem that was inspired by the people in the photograph or the photograph itself by placing lines of poetry with the following elements in mind: line spacing, visual spacing, tone, content and meaning.