Posted by William Ramirez – MA Candidate at CLACS
This summer I traveled to Guatemala with the intention of learning more about current trends and developments in Guatemalan literary, poetic, and artistic production. In recent years, there has been a surge in not only scholarly, but also literary and artistic production of the “Central American” (including Guatemala) in the United States (See Arturo Arias, Ana Patricia Rodriguez, Kency Cornejo, Claudia Milian). For example, in 2014, Guatemalan-American poet, Maya Chinchilla (Maya Chapina), published her first book, The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética (Kórima Press), marking the first time a Guatemalan-American publishes a book of poetry with themes concerning the Guatemalan/Central American-American experience within the United States. However, her work would perhaps be lesser known within Guatemala. A question arises: what relevance would her poetry have with current Guatemalan literary and artistic trends and, moreover, with Guatemalans, in general, who perhaps have never set foot outside of the country? I came to look for what type of relation might, or might not, exist between literary, artistic, and poetic productions between Guatemalan-Americans and those within the country.