Joshua Jennifer Espinoza


Joshua Jennifer Espinoza is a trans woman poet living in California. Her work has been featured in Poetry, Denver Quarterly, American Poetry Review, Poem-a-Day, Lambda Literary, PEN America, The Offing, and elsewhere. Her full-length collection THERE SHOULD BE FLOWERS was published by Civil Coping Mechanisms in 2016. She is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at UC Riverside. Source

Personal Statement

I don’t believe I was born, maybe emerged

from a soupy formation of gays 


and other beautiful things instead. I’ve gone

on and on telling you all about how I 


created myself, took a photograph of what

I was given, tore it up, set it on fire, inhaled 


its smoke and grew twenty times my size.

All of this has been said. Today I want to make 


this space my own and project my light through

every surface. I think by now I’ve earned this—


what with the breathing exercises just to leave

the house, and the hyper-awareness of every blade 


of grass’s movement, and the drinking, and the

getting high each night to stave off the nightmares. 


You know, just girly things. So here’s what you need

to know—any time I’m doing something I’m doing 


something I’m afraid of. This makes each experience

seem new and old at the same time. I’m always like 


I don’t give a fuck when in reality I am literally

going to die from how much of a fuck I give. Also


I’m a witch and I get all my powers from the wind. 

Wow. Aren’t I special? Don’t you want to love me 


with all of your heart for the next ten seconds? 

Don’t you want to rescue me


           from all the things that make you feel safe?





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:




LGBTQ+ Experience

Literary Devices:


a line break interrupting the middle of a phrase which continues on to the next line


a situation that seems to contradict itself


the repetition of conjunctions frequently and in close proximity in a sentence

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered