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Erika L. Sánchez
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Erika L. Sánchez is a poet, writer, and editor living in Chicago. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Illinois at Chicago and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of New Mexico. She is a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship to Madrid, Spain, a CantoMundo Fellowship, and the 2013 "Discovery"/Boston Review poetry prize. She is currently the sex and love advice columnist for Cosmopolitan for Latinas and a contributor for NBC Latino, and others. Her poetry has appeared in Pleiades, Drunken Boat, Witness, Anti-, Hunger Mountain, Crab Orchard Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Copper Nickel, and others. She has written book reviews for Kirkus Reviews and her nonfiction has been published in Jezebel, AlterNet, and Ms. Magazine. She is currently working on a novel. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or erikalsanchez.com.

Entries by Erika L. Sánchez

Don't Want to Be the Model Minority for the American Dream

(5) Comments | Posted April 16, 2013 | 3:37 PM

I'm tired of having to explain to white folks that many people in my working class Mexican community cannot persevere no matter how hard they may try. I'm often met with this response: "But you did it!" which they seem to think is a compliment. It's not. I consider myself...

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Introverts Are People, Too!

(5) Comments | Posted January 31, 2013 | 2:32 PM

My senior year in college was the most extroverted year of my life. If someone called me to go out on a school night as I was climbing into bed, I'd scramble out of my pajamas, throw on some jeans, and run out the door to meet my friends at...

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The Value of Anger

(0) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 3:38 PM

When I was a teenager, I was in a constant state of rage. Bad grammar, Republicans, poverty, the Catholic Church, my family, spandex pants, creeps, racism, my hometown, sexism, and rat tails were some of the triggers of my ire. But a lot of the time, I didn't even know...

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Why I Choose to be Politically Incorrect

(3) Comments | Posted September 27, 2012 | 4:21 PM

I often write about topics many would find awkward or unpleasant. Give me a subject that will make people squirm or abuelas cry, and I'll gladly take pen to paper. Ever since I was young, I have hoped for the privilege of pissing off the Pope. I've been like this...

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Embracing Growing Older

(2) Comments | Posted September 19, 2012 | 3:44 PM

When I was 21, I noticed gray hairs beginning to sprout. That was my first introduction to aging, but I didn't think anything of it. I was young and couldn't fathom that one day I would be old and acabada. Now I'm creeping towards 30, and that gray hair is...

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I Can't Help But Take Immigration Seriously

(80) Comments | Posted September 7, 2012 | 5:11 PM

I can't discuss immigration without getting upset. There are times that the topic makes me want to cry and/or flip a table over. When people refer to "illegal immigrants," they are referring to my family, so it's much more than a political issue for me. And I'm not ashamed to...

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My Tirade Against Hipsters

(3) Comments | Posted August 20, 2012 | 3:16 PM

I know enough has been written about hipsters, but please humor me, for I had not had the opportunity to chime in. What exactly is a hipster? The definition seems to be very fluid; it can range from a V-neck wearing jerk with abysmal hygiene to a wannabe poindexter with...

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Responding to Catcalls

(66) Comments | Posted August 9, 2012 | 10:36 PM

I remember being a chubby and dorky 13 year-old girl and getting honked at by creeps when I walked in my neighborhood. Since I was so incredibly awkward and unattractive, was I flattered? No. It scared the crap out of me. It was especially terrifying when the cars slowed down....

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A Love Letter to The Simpsons

(1) Comments | Posted August 5, 2012 | 6:43 PM

Anyone who even vaguely knows me knows that I absolutely love The Simpsons. I quote them nearly every single day, which I am sure can be irritating. I watch them when I need cheering up. I had a poster of the cast in my former cubicle. I have action figures...

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What Do I Need to Do to be Feminine Enough?

(14) Comments | Posted July 24, 2012 | 10:50 AM

I often have anxiety when getting dressed in the morning. Mostly because there is often a fine and arbitrary line between figure-flattering, feminine clothing, and clothing that may be considered suggestive or inappropriate. Society demands that we follow certain beauty standards, but if we look too provocative, we aren't taken...

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When Women Hate Women

(21) Comments | Posted July 18, 2012 | 7:50 PM

Ladies, have you ever walked into a room full of people and noticed that many of the women were giving you dirty looks for no reason at all? I call it being objectified -- by women. I have been objectified by women many, many times. But it's a different kind...

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My Pitiful Days of Yore

(2) Comments | Posted July 14, 2012 | 9:37 PM

I graduated with my MFA in creative writing during what seemed like the height of the recession. At the time I figured I would take any crappy desk job and work there until I found something more fulfilling. I simply needed to pay my bills. I didn't have unreasonable expectations....

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I Want More Latinos on My TV

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2012 | 6:51 PM

I grew up watching too much TV. I especially loved watching sitcoms, so I became very well-acquainted with fictional families like the Tanners and the Huxtables. In fact, I would often fantasize that I was their adopted Mexican cousin. I also loved Balki's silly Eastern European antics and the all...

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One Latina Twentysomething's 12 Tips for Teens

(5) Comments | Posted July 3, 2012 | 11:32 AM

I am not a wise old crone. I am only 28 and though I have been successful in many realms, I am disgruntled about plenty of things. I am not a picture of late 20s perfection, by any means. But bumbling through life, I have learned helpful things that I...

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The Anxiety of Fulfilling Latina Stereotypes

(14) Comments | Posted June 22, 2012 | 12:12 PM

I imagine that most minorities who are self-aware have the occasional, or perhaps even perpetual, underlying fear of fulfilling racial stereotypes. It's an anxiety that I'm still trying to unpack. I have recently identified this part of myself and am now sifting through the unpleasant muck. Part of me doesn't...

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The Origin of a Latina Nerd

(15) Comments | Posted June 13, 2012 | 8:35 AM

Some recent Latino nerd talk -- shout out to all of my brothers and sisters -- got me thinking about the origins of my nerdom.

How exactly did this happen? How did I become the kind of woman who listens to podcasts about earthworms and economics? Why am I the...

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I Grew Up Speaking Spanish, But Sometimes It Gets Rusty

(11) Comments | Posted June 6, 2012 | 2:56 AM

I didn't learn to speak English until I was about four. And who do I have to thank for teaching me? Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus. Bert and Ernie. That's right-- "Sesame Street" taught this little Mexican how to speak English. In my living room on weekday mornings eating my...

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What Has Happened to the Mexican Corrido?

(2) Comments | Posted May 31, 2012 | 7:57 AM

The Mexican corrido has been around since Mexico became a country, and throughout its existence, it has been transformed by the economies and spaces it's inhabited. It was especially important during the Mexican revolution when it was used to transmit details of major battles. In these songs, figures like Emiliano...

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A Brief Reflection on Sex Work

(8) Comments | Posted May 26, 2012 | 2:51 PM

I grew up on a street with prostitutes on the corner. The Cove Motel on Cicero Ave. teemed with ragged-looking women and unctuous, terrifying men. At the time, I had no idea who these people were or what they did. All I knew is that white people were rare in...

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The Macho In Me

(3) Comments | Posted May 22, 2012 | 8:42 AM

One of the things I hate most in life is asking anyone for help. Mexicans are known for their unreasonable pride, and though I am first generation Mexican-American, I am no exception. I come from people who have survived many hardships. Though I don't support our country's bootstrap rhetoric, my...

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