Story Behind the Story

Episode 46: Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo - INCANTATION

December 2nd, 2023

This month, host Clara Sherley-Appel talks to poet and educator Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo. A former Steinbeck Fellow and Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange winner, Xochitl’s writing has been featured in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, On Being’s Poetry Unbound, and Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems to Open Your World. She has received residencies from Hedgebrook, Ragdale, Yefe Nof, and the National Parks Arts Foundation in partnership with the Getty National Military Park and Poetry Foundation. In 2011, she co-founded Women Who Submit, a literary organization that uses social media and community events to empower women and non-binary authors to submit work for publication, with Ashaki Jackson and Alyss Dixon, and she currently serves as the organization’s director.

Xochitl wrote her debut collection, Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge, while living in a house in the shadows of Dodger Stadium in historic Solano Canyon. Today we are discussing her second collection, Incantation: Love Poems for Battle Sites, which explores US monuments, memorializes Black and brown bodies murdered by state-sanctioned violence, and shares love poems to family, friends, and dalliances in rituals of resistance and resilience.