On Poetry — Joseph Delgado

Joseph Delgado’s poetry offers writing that doesn’t attempt to tame or domesticate the wildness of the human heart. His land is vast and populated with junkies, prostitutes, and dear old aunts who can teach you to skin a rabbit or kill a man. The smell of oil, grease, tobacco, and sex are not just piped in for the tourists.

While invoking nature, Delgado doesn’t rely on tired metaphors for the natural world. You get a sense that nature for him is always more than mere location where human action unfolds. Just the same, the landscape provides a framework and system of values in which human actions, from sex and murder to eating tortillas and driving cattle, can start to make sense.

This conversation was recorded in late 2020 by Frank Garrett.

Joseph Delgado was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work has appeared in The Santa Fe Literary Review and Trajectory as well as in the anthology Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion & Spirituality published by Sibling Rivalry Press. San Francisco-based independent queer Chicanx Kórima Press published his first collection Ditch Water: Poems in 2013. Broken Mesas, also by Kórima Press, is forthcoming. He currently resides on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation in Mohave Valley, Arizona.