Day Eight to Publish Diaspora Café: D.C., an AfroLatinX Poetry Anthology

Day Eight is partnering with the Mariposa Retreat on a new poetry anthology, Diaspora Cafe: D.C., to be edited by Jeffrey ‘Big Homey’ Banks and Maritza Rivera.

“I recently read an article about Puerto Rico that included the Taino and Spanish influence on the island and its people but made no mention of its African heritage,” Maritza told Day Eight. “Afro-LatinX voices have unique perspectives and experiences regarding their cultural and racial heritage that need to be included in the LatinX narrative.”

Disapora Café: D.C. will endeavor to capture these voices, perspectives, and experiences, and we invite all poets in the D.C. area and beyond to help us bring this project to life.

Submissions will be accepted via Submittable, an online submission platform, through Monday, April 4, 2022. To view more information about the call or to submit, visit our Submittable page.

Maritza Rivera is a Puerto Rican poet and Army veteran who has lived in Rockville, MD since 1994. She has been writing poetry for over fifty years; is the creator of a short form of poetry called Blackjack and is the publisher of Casa Mariposa Press. Maritza is the author of About You; A Mother’s War, written during her son’s two tours in Iraq; Baker’s Dozen; Twenty-One: Blackjack Poems; and the Blackjack Poetry Playing Cards. Her work appears in literary magazines, anthologies and online publications and in the public arts project, Meet Me at the Triangle in Wheaton, MD. In 2011, Maritza began hosting the annual Mariposa Poetry Retreat, “where the magic of poetry happens,” which takes place in Puerto Rico in 2022.

Jeffrey Banks is poetically known as “Big Homey.” His credits include Essence Magazine, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, Radio-One Inc., the CBS Early Show, Black Enterprise Magazine, along with nationwide performances, international broadcasts, and multiple grant awards and publications through DC Public Libraries, the National Association for Poetry Therapy, Paris Lit Up, and Day Eight.

The book is made possible by grants from the DC Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs, HumanitiesDC, and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.