In Search of Oceans by Li Yun Alvarado

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Contributor Notes

In Search of Oceans

The first time I read the two line epigraph that introduces "In Search of Oceans," I was breathless. For me, Brathwaite's words captured a sense of yearning I was intimately familiar with, having grown up traveling between Puerto Rico and New York. "In Search of Oceans" combines a meditation on the personal longing Brathwaite describes with an exploration of how relationships and history can shape and change that longing. There is a tension in the piece between the "shared ache" and the underlying pressures of family, history, and racism. First love is powerful, confusing, and intoxicating; first love between those caught within the rivers and oceans which surround, nurture, haunt, and torture them is all those things and so much more.

Li Yun Alvarado is a Puerto Rican poet, writer, and educator. She is currently a doctoral candidate in English at Fordham University and has been published in The Acentos Review, PALABRA, A Magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art, and Modern Haiku. Li Yun assists with coordinating Fordham's Poets Out Loud reading series and has participated in the VONA Writers Workshop in San Francisco. She has also taught writing and poetry to middle and high school students in Boston, New York, and the Dominican Republic. She lives in New York City and takes frequent trips to Salinas, Puerto Rico to visit la familia.