Date of Thesis
“Puente” is an Honors Thesis poetry collection that has allowed me to reflect on my roots, my experiences growing up in Mexico and America, and the way that the past lives in my present. In these poems I explore, as an immigrant, concepts of visibility and invisibility; the use of formal strategies to communicate emotional states; and what it is to represent myself and tell my story. As I’ve worked on this project, many poets have influenced me, including Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Juan Felipe Herrera, Gloria Anzaldúa, and many more. I have employed poetic strategies from both traditional forms and free verse to serve the project.
While writing and revising these poems, I’ve thought about my own voice and journey, as well as the voices of family members, friends, and members of my community who have impacted me through their journeys. When I proposed this collection last spring, I initially considered drafting poems through several personas, and in that way to represent the many immigrants that experience the struggles I want to discuss. However, as I began to draft more poems, I had the sense that it was not my place to use other people’s voices, because, after all, their stories were not mine. As I kept working on the project, I worked more with my own story, which connects to the stories of many others. I became confident that it is my place to speak about my story, and that by writing I am discovering ways to express who I am, always in parts: part of my struggle, part of my joy, part of my roots, part of my identity. I am processing my experiences and emotions through my writing, and that has been the most rewarding aspect of this project.
By completing this collection, I discovered a metaphor for myself: I am a bridge that touches two lands but belongs to neither. A bridge that serves as a connector of two places, two nations, two identities. A bridge that has to be able to balance, and seems to not have a form when it is being constructed. The structure of a bridge has to balance the tension of both sides. I am the bridge who brings the Mexican spices and aromas to an American university dorm kitchen, and the bridge that brings the doughnuts to the Mexican cocina.
I am balancing the tension and compression, touching the fluidity and the stagnant places. I transport hugs, laughter, and photographs from one place to another, without being ni de aqui nor from there. “Puente” is a collection that touches two lands but belongs to neither. It bridges the lands. It belongs to me. Welcome. Try not to become too attached to either side. Just observe, taste, hear, smell and feel––if you can––the crossing.
poetry, immigration, migrants, Spanglish, identity, exophonic, Spanish, bilingual, hispanic, mexican
Honors Thesis (Bucknell Access Only)
Bachelor of Arts
K. A. Hays
Torres Loredo, Margarita, "Puente" (2022). Honors Theses. 589.