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“Grito de Libertá”: The Rebellious Young Voice of Camil L. Valentín Arce

If you have been a follower of the poetry and open mic scene in the west coast of Puerto Rico, you may have noticed in the last year that one of the great voices to have emerged is that of Camil L. Valentín Arce. Last November, the young poet from Aguadilla published her first collection Grito de Libertá, where she constantly tackles the current struggles low-income Puerto Ricans face, political oppression, and freedom.

(picture of Valentín Arce holding the book by Dai Rojas)

 

Starting off with her most well known poem, “Estrago social”, where she demonstrates her clear Julia de Burgos influence, Camil L. Valentín Arce attacks themes like freedom and the hardships faced by Puerto Ricans every day. In fact, the first few poems of this collection examine these themes along with the current state of Puerto Rican politics and class relationships. Eventually, the young writer touches on themes related to family, love, and identity, but she never really delves as deep into these as she does in the poems related to politics and social issues; and this is where the book suffers.

(picture of Valentín Arce by Dai Rojas)

 

In its short length of a little over forty pages, which provide a total of thirty-four poems, Valentín Arce’s Grito de Libertá manages to heavily observe issues related to struggle, politics, freedom, and class differences. However, when she does manage to explore the topics of love, identity, and family, it seems like she falls short. An option that could have been taken into consideration was perhaps dividing the book in three sections; one for politics and social issues, a second for love, and a final one for identity. Nevertheless, having seen Valentín Arce perform live multiple times, I have a feeling her second project might delve deeper into these themes and, perhaps in the future, she might combine all three into one bigger collection.

(picture of Valentín Arce by Dai Rojas)

 

Camil L. Valentín Arce’s Grito de Libertá presents a young, strong, and rebellious poet in the making. By showing her ability to delve into political issues, the poet demonstrates her awareness on current issues. However, while she does provide a brief glimpse into her point of view on love, identity, and family, I feel she could have gone deeper and maybe made her debut a bit longer. Regardless, the future looks bright and promising for the young writer who seems unafraid to express what she believes leaving it all out there, just like the cover of her book presents.

 

Find Grito de Libertá on Amazon here

 

Fernando E. E. Correa González is the author behind over 20 self-published poetry books. He has been published by literary magazines & journals [Id]entidad, El Vicio del Tintero, Sábanas Magazine, Smaeralit and Tonguas. Other than writing, Correa is also a filmmaker, podcaster, photographer and master’s student. He currently lives in his native Puerto Rico.
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