Suzi F. Garcia


The daughter of a Peruvian immigrant, Suzi F. Garcia is a queer, disabled poet and editor raised in Arkansas. Garcia struggled with reading as a child. not learning how until the third grade—but, as her parents were fans of free air conditioning and free entertainment, she spent much of her youth at the library. She recalls finding a collection of poems by the English romantic poet William Wordsworth when she was 10 years old and the weeks-long effort she spent trying to decipher his work. What Wordsworth spoke of the pastoral and philosophy did not meld with what she knew of life and language, and the collection scared her off of poetry so much it would be nearly a decade before she read another poem. She would realize later, though, that she had grown up with poetry the whole time. Garcia describes being a child listening to her Peruvian father tell her tales of distant family and inherited legends from his culture, with the beauty of blended languages and bicultural experiences making way for the first poetry that truly spoke to her. She now loves Wordsworth and Shakespeare, but it was things like the language of folklore and the unique country diction of her mother that first opened her to the world of poetry and would inspire her personal style and thematic focuses. Garcia is the online editor for the Michigan Quarterly Review and an executive editor at Noemi Press. Her favorite film and book series is The Wizard of Oz, which inspired her debut chapbook A Homegrown Fairytale (2020), a collection of poems centered around the character Dorothy Gale.

A Modified Villanelle for My Childhood

with some help from Ahmad


I wanna write lyrical, but all I got is magical.

My book needs a poem talkin bout I remember when

Something more autobiographical


Mi familia wanted to assimilate, nothing radical,

Each month was a struggle to pay our rent

With food stamps, so dust collects on the magical.


Each month it got a little less civil

Isolation is a learned defense

When all you wanna do is write lyrical.


None of us escaped being a criminal

Of the state, institutionalized when

They found out all we had was magical.


White room is white room, it’s all statistical—

Our calendars were divided by Sundays spent

In visiting hours. Cold metal chairs deny the lyrical.


I keep my genes in the sharp light of the celestial.

My history writes itself in sheets across my veins.

My parents believed in prayer, I believed in magical


Well, at least I believed in curses, biblical

Or not, I believed in sharp fists, 

Beat myself into lyrical.


But we were each born into this, anger so cosmical

Or so I thought, I wore ten chokers and a chain

Couldn’t see any significance, anger is magical.

Fists to scissors to drugs to pills to fists again


Did you know a poem can be both mythical and archeological?

I ignore the cataphysical, and I anoint my own clavicle.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:






Poems of Place

Literary Devices:


an expression designed to call something to mind without mentioning it explicitly; an indirect or passing reference


a recurrence of the same word or phrase two or more times

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered


a nineteen-line poem with two rhymes throughout, consisting of five tercets and a quatrain, with the first and third lines of the opening tercet recurring alternately at the end of the other tercets and with both repeated at the close of the concluding quatrain