Comp Lit PH.D. student, Raquel Salas-Rivera, featured in WHYY's Radio Times.

Raquel Salas Rivera

Philadelphia’s new Poet Laureate Raquel Salas-Rivera holds many identities — queer, non-binary, Puerto Rican, Philadelphian — and uses the gender-neutral pronoun “they.” Rivera sometimes reads their poetry first in Spanish, even when most of the people in their audience aren’t Spanish speakers. “I believe the discomfort can be a teaching movement,” they say. “You might have to briefly experience what so many people experience when they first move here, not having power.” Their work explores these communities and their intersections, as well as the many communities and voices of Philadelphia. They join Marty to talk about queer and national identity, translation in poetry, and what it means to call both Puerto Rico and Philadelphia home. Their new collection of poetry is called “The Tertiary.”

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