Xanath Caraza

Kansas City poet Xanath Caraza recently published the poetry chapbook Corazon Pintado, a book of "ekphrastic poems" – or poems that respond to other works of art. 

Yanga, Yanga, Yanga

Yanga, Yanga, Yanga

Today, your spirit I invoke

Here, in this place

This, this is my poem for Yanga

Mandinga, malanga, bamba

Rumba, mambo, samba.

For the past 14 years, the Mattie Rhodes gallery on the Westside has commemorated the Day of the Dead by asking local artists and community members to make altars in memory of ancestors and loved ones who've passed away. But this year, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is collaborating with the Mattie Rhodes Center, as well as the Guadalupe Center and the Mexican Consulate, to create a large community altar in the museum's central Kirkwood Hall.

Traveler, educator and short story writer Xanath Caraza says she first started writing poetry when she was about six years old.

Kansas City, MO – Caraza writes in Spanish, her first language, and then translates her own work into English. Here, she reads a poem she wrote in Mexico to celebrate International Women's Day; it's called "Mujer."

This poem is published in the anthology called Primera Pagina: Poetry from the Latino Heartland.