Lucha Corpi

American poet

Lucha Corpi (born April 13, 1945) is a Chicana poet and mystery writer.


  • I was born in a small tropical town in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. There, people fostered both the creation and the performance of poetry and music, together with the art of storytelling. I was also fortunate to be a daughter of parents who believed in educating the two girls in the family equally well as their six sons. My father used to tell my sister and me that "When you educate a man, you educate an individual. But when you educate a woman, you educate the whole family."…
  • … In a way, the author is a writer's public persona. The writer, however, is a private person. Anyone who expresses life's experiences--their own or someone else's--in writing is a creative writer, and for him or her, the most important concern, the passion, is the writing itself…
  • … I tend to over-research, but I don't mind. It is amazing how little we remember even about events and experiences of personal importance. The larger and deeper the well of knowledge, the easier it is for me to feel safe and secure in it, to be sure that I am as accurate and factual as possible, and to develop believable characters, who react in their own unique ways or betray what they're capable of as they deal with extraordinary situations or unusual experiences. But it isn't until I do the actual writing that I discover all of these aspects, including how much of the research is integral to the plot…
  • …I engage with poetry musically. I think I hear the music of the poem before I put words to it. The poem comes to me as it were a song more than a string of words or images. If I can’t transport that musical quality to the poem, then the poem doesn’t exist for me…”
  • …My house is my laboratory, set apart from the rest of the world, and when my son was small I spent most of my time there. I often wrote poems while doing housework. I always had pencils and paper throughout the house: in the laundry, in the dining room, in the kitchen…
  • When I began to write poetry, I knew I had found something so akin to music. Music and poetry are the oldest of human expressions-probably first music, then poetry. They complement each other and blend with each other to form a song. A song is powerful. It has the range of emotion music provides, and the power of ideas, images, memory associations, and speech governed by human intellect. Richard Wagner said something I found extraordinary. He said that the "reason for being of music is poetry." I wholeheartedly subscribe to that notion. At times, somewhere in my mind I hear the music of a poem long before the words come together.
    • interview in ‘’Chicana Ways’’ (2001)
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