Yesika Salgado, a Los Angeles-based Salvadoran poet, has carved a distinctive path in the world of poetry. Her writing is about her family, her culture, her city, and her own body. She is a two-time National Poetry Slam finalist and the recipient of the 2020 International Latino Book Award in Poetry. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Teen Vogue, Univision, CNN, NPR, and many other platforms. She is an internationally recognized body-positive advocate, writer of the column "Suelta for Remezcla," and contributor to Refinery29's Latine platform, Somos. Yesika Salgado is the author of the best-selling books Corazón, Tesoro, and Hermosa, all published under Not a Cult.
Growing up, Yesika was a voracious reader, though she wasn't considered a "good" student in the traditional sense. She knew that the books she devoured spoke to a part of her she couldn't yet define. Novels and poetry became her refuge, made her feel seen, and ignited her dreams. From this place, she penned her own stories many years later, aiming to reflect her narrative to her readers. She hopes that they can see themselves and celebrate what makes them different and very special.
Yesika's advice for young readers is simple yet profound:
She recognizes that the written word can transport readers to different worlds, inspire imagination, and offer solace from life's challenges.
"know that all reading is good as long as they reach for the books that allow them to lose themselves for hours, dream the unimaginable or feel less alone."
As a Salvadoran woman, Yesika uses literature and storytelling to build bridges between communities and promote cultural understanding. Born in Los Angeles, she was raised with a deep love for her parent's home country, and this pride in who she is and her love of El Salvador shines through in her writing. Her writing celebrates identity, inviting others to explore their cultural connections. She explains, "We all know what it is to search for home and family, and by exploring those similarities, we can celebrate the unique aspects of our respective cultures."
Yesika believes libraries can play a pivotal role in supporting the voices of underrepresented communities by actively including books written by authors of these communities in their collections. Furthermore, she emphasizes the importance of offering programs that include the participation of these writers. Additionally, Yesika advocates for libraries to encourage young people to write their own stories by hosting community writing workshops as frequently as possible.
Yesika is writing her fourth collection of poetry named Mentirosa and dreaming up other projects she hopes to bring to fruition soon.
Yesika Salgado will be one of our wonderful featured authors at the Los Angeles Libros Festival, a free bilingual book festival for the whole family celebrating stories and music from Latin America and the United States. L.A. Libros Fest will be streamed live on YouTube on Friday, September 29, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The Festival will be in-person at Central Library in Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, September 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.