José Olivarez


José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. His debut book of poems, Citizen Illegal, was a finalist for the PEN/ Jean Stein Award and a winner of the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize. It was named a top book of 2018 by The Adroit Journal, NPR, and the New York Public Library. Along with Felicia Chavez and Willie Perdomo, he co-edited the poetry anthology, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT. He is the co-host of the poetry podcast, The Poetry Gods. In 2018, he was awarded the first annual Author and Artist in Justice Award from the Phillips Brooks House Association and named a Debut Poet of 2018 by Poets & Writers. In 2019, he was awarded a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. Source

Let’s Get Married

Spanish translation by David Ruano González


for Alison & Nate, on the occasion of their wedding

& always for Erika


let’s get married on a Tuesday

with a six piece from Harold’s as our witness.

let’s get married at noon & then again at 3:30

when the school day lets out & a whole block

of dandelions flower our ceremony. let’s 

get married under a full moon & then again

under a new moon, so every celestial being

can witness our vows. love, one wedding

isn’t enough for me. i want to propose

again & again. on a Wednesday because

you did the dishes. on a Thursday because

we woke up next to each other again. say yes.

say less. i’ll be on one knee asking you

to share in the delight of knowing each other.

let’s get married because Chicago. because

St. Louis is a city on a map. because your name

is my favorite word. let’s get married because

there are vows we can only make in the dark.

because we don’t need a witness to say i do.

let’s get married because it’s raining

& that’s supposed to be good luck. mi amor,

mi cielo, mi vida, let’s get married

in every language we can & can’t speak.

under every god. my god, the way you look

at me is a miracle i believe in. because

we get one life. one. say yes. then, say yes

again. let’s get married after we get married

because underneath every word i write

there is one word i carve into every desk.

one word i tag onto every building on every block

of my heart. marry me: make me (no, not complete),

but a little more alive than i’ve ever been.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




Humor & Satire

Love & Relationships

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences

Internal Rhyme

A rhyme involving a word in the middle of a line and another at the end of the line or in the middle of the next.

Interrupted Clause

a word group (a statement, question, or exclamation) that interrupts the flow of a sentence and is usually set off by commas, dashes, or parentheses