The Chills at Will Podcast podcast

Episode 153 with Luivette Resto, 24/7 Poet, Wordsmith, Versatile and Profound Chronicler of Family and Home and Identity, and Writer of Living on Islands Not Found on Maps

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Episode 153 Notes and Links to Luivette Resto’s Work 


   On Episode 153 of The Chills at Will Podcast, Pete welcomes Luivette Resto, and the two discuss, among other topics, her childhood in Puerto Rico and the Bronx, her pride in her Puerto Ricanidad, Spanglish, formative reading and writing, mentors and inspirations like Helena Maria Viramontes, ideas of home and identity and inheritance that populate her poetry, and how form and family dynamics inform her work. 


   Luivette Resto, a mother, teacher, poet, and Wonder Woman fanatic, was born in Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico but proudly raised in the Bronx. She is a CantoMundo and Macondo Fellow, and a Pushcart Prize nominee. She is on the Board of Directors for Women Who Submit, a non profit organization in Los Angeles focused on women and nonbinary writers. Some of her latest work can be read on Spillway, North American Review, and the latest anthology, Gathering. Her latest collection Living On Islands Not Found On Maps is  published by FlowerSong Press.  Her first two books of poetry Unfinished Portrait and Ascension have been published by Tía Chucha Press. Some of her latest work can be found in the anthology titled What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump edited by Martín Espada and on the University of Arizona’s Poetry Center website. She lives in the San Gabriel Valley with her three children aka her revolutionaries.

Buy Living on Islands Not Found on Maps


Luivette Resto's Website


“Becoming Guazabara: A Interview with Luivette Resto” by Ivelisse Rodríguez


Luivette Resto’s Poetry Foundation Page



At about 7:50, Luivette gives background on her early and lasting connections to her birthplace of Puerto Rico and to the Bronx


At about 12:40, Luivette describes her growing understanding of hyphenated identities and being part of the “Nuyorican culture”


At about 16:45, Luivette lists some of the countless books she read as a kid


At about 19:10, Luivette looks back on the dearth of writers of color to whom she was exposed as a kid and high schooler 


At about 20:15, Luivette describes Mrs. Quigley jostl[ing] some things” as Luivette 


At about 21:00, Luivette describes the wonderful and creative leadership and mentorship provided by Helena Maria Viramontes 


At about 22:40, Luivette cites Viramontes’ leading Luivette to great Puerto Rican writers like Martin Espada and Judith Ortiz Cofer (Latin Deli)


At about 24:30, Luivette references a few words that are particular to Puerto Rico that Martin Espada uses in his work that thrilled her  


At about 26:50, Pete tells the story about a banal and thrilling experience with Helena Maria Viramontes 


At about 28:00, Luivette responds to Pete’s questions about transformational moments along the way to becoming a writer-she cites Helena Maria Viramontes’ influence 


At about 31:50, Luivette shouts out Martin Espada (read Floaters!) and Pedro Pietri and as two of the many writers who inspire her


At about 35:00, Pete and Luivette talk about precision with words and discuss Luivette’s philosophy on poetry and how she is a poet on a daily basis


At about 38:30, Luivette gives the seeds and background for her collection, which was “seven years in the making”


At about 41:15, The two discuss the continuity of the collection 


At about 42:20, Luivette summarizes themes of Parts I and II in the collection and gives background on the process of splitting up the collection 


At about 45:25, The two discuss the collection’s opening poem and ideas of the poet as speaker and connections to the ocean and the protectoress, as well as the forms of pantoum and her “Didactic” poems 


At about 50:40, Pete cites the masculine and feminine natures of the sea, as posed by Hemingway’s Santiago


At about 51:45, Inheritance is explored through some early poems in the collection and real-life connections to Luivette’s mother and grandmother


At about 57:55, Ideas of home and personality that come up in a few poems are referenced and discussed 


At about 59:40, Pete compliments the “fresh spin” that Luivette puts on ideas of sexism and misogyny


At about 1:00:50, Luivette reads her poem “MILF”


At about 1:02:00, Luivette connects ideas of home and father-daughter relationships with some of her work


At about 1:04:00, Ideas of potential and hope and a lifesaving experience dramatized in Luivette’s work are discussed 


At about 1:05:35, Home and identity and languages as themes are discussed 


At about 1:06:45, Luivette provides background on the writing of the title poem with help from Diana Marie Delgado


At about 1:10:00, Pete cites some standout lines from the collection’s second part, especially those revolving around intimacy and love and loss


At about 1:12:20, Highlighting misogyny and ideas of the power of women as depicted in the poetry, Pete asks Luivette about the cool double-meaning of “coqueta”


At about 1:13:50, Luivette reads the title poem

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  Please tune in for Episode 154 with Ian MacAllen, the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American. He is a writer, editor, and graphic designer living in Brooklyn. Pete can’t wait to talk sauce and gravy and sugo. 

  The episode will air on November 29.

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