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CantoMundo shared at the Latinx Studies Association (LSA) Conference hosted at Arizona State University. On April 20th, Carmen Tafolla and Alberto Ríos engaged in a roundtable discussion moderated by Jacqueline Balderrama entitled "CantoMundo and the Placemaking of a Latinx Poets & Poetry Organization." The conversation focused on the organization's recent collaboration with the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing housed at ASU. Jacqueline Balderrama, director of CantoMundo, engaged Piper Center’s director Alberto Ríos and CantoMundo co-founder Carmen Tafolla who shared on the history and significance of their work at the intersection of Latinx poets across regional, aesthetic, ethnic, racial, linguistic, and gendered spectrums as well as the ways CantoMundo has reshaped the literary landscape and creating lasting impacts on a local and national level. Moreover, discussants reflected on the state of Latinx poetics in Arizona and the Southwest and how CantoMundo’s presence as a Latinx placemaking entity is an important turning point for the region’s poetry landscape.

CantoMundo is delighted to announce that we are one of the seventy-five grantees for Latino Poetry: Place We Call Home, an initiative presented by Library of America with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Emerson Collective. This initiative “invites participants into a nationwide conversation about Latino poetry—its distinctive rhythms, candor, and lyricism; its profound engagement with pasts historical and mythic; its imaginative reckoning with the complexities of language, land, and identity; and its visions of a nation enriched by the stories of immigrants, exiles, refugees, and their descendants.” CantoMundo would like to express our deepest thanks to The Library of America. We’re honored to be involved in this initiative and receive support to offer programming in Arizona in celebration of Latinx poetry.

As CantoMundo, under new leadership, prepares for the return of its annual in-person retreat, we want to recognize that the past few years have been difficult for our community. We’ve experienced shifts in leadership, the delay of in-person retreats, and words/(in)actions within the organization that have shaken the trust of our community. CantoMundo acknowledges that while our mission and vision commit us to being 'a home for all Latinx poets,’ these values were not always realized as fully as they could be.

As we restart our programs, we rededicate ourselves to serving Latinx poets and poetry across regional, aesthetic, ethnic, racial, linguistic, and gendered spectrums. We further pledge to work through all our policies and practices to be anti-racist, accessible, and intolerant of all homophobia and anti-trans rhetoric and to sustain a community in which all members are fully respected.

The leadership team has agreed upon the following measures as part of a thoughtful effort toward ensuring the instability previously felt will not be repeated:

  1. We will seek dialogue with fellow CantoMundistas, especially within the AfroLatinx community, who wish to share concerns or experiences.

  2. We will discuss together topics important to the health of CantoMundo at each leadership meeting. These may include but are not limited to sharing knowledge and resources, inviting guest speakers on the subject of diversity, equity, inclusion, and other relevant topics as they arise.

  3. We will require implicit bias training (or other inclusivity training) ahead of the retreat for participants and leadership.

  4. At the annual retreat, we will come up with a set of mutually agreed upon values to guide our future actions and from these update our Code of Care, which helps ensure the values we agree on will be enacted by our community moving forward.

Progress on these efforts will be addressed broadly during the opening circle at the 2024 retreat and shared in an email to all CantoMundistas the week afterward. Also, please know we always welcome your voices and can be reached at or via the contact form on the website. Thank you in advance for your feedback, and we look forward to celebrating the retreat in 2024.


Jacqueline Balderrama, CantoMundo Director

Norma E. Cantú, CantoMundo Co-Founder & Advisory Board Member

Willie Perdomo, CantoMundo Faculty & Advisory Board Member

Pablo Miguel Martínez, CantoMundo Co-Founder & Advisory Board Member

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