Born near the Cape Verde Islands, Hurricane Irma swished
her skirts of winds & rain, toyed with Puerto Rico,
stole light from 1,000,000 Puerto Ricans, her eye
on Florida. Some say she roared past like a train
that descended from the skies. Weeks later,
María stole light from 3,000,000 more, stripped trees
of their green, birds of their breath & feathers, roofs
of their means to shelter. Some say she screamed
like a sea of women being buried alive in water.
María Luisa Arroyo Cruzado was educated at Colby (BA), Tufts (MA), and Harvard (ABD) in German, her third language. She has one full-length collection of poems, Gathering Words / Recogiendo Palabras, and two chapbooks, Flight and Destierro Means More than Exile. Arroyo’s community-based workshops garnered her recognition, including being named the inaugural Poet Laureate of Springfield, Massachusetts (2014-2016), and a 2016 New England Public Radio Arts & Humanities Award recipient. In July 2015, Arroyo earned an MFA in creative writing from Solstice at Pine Manor College. She is an assistant professor of writing and first-year studies at Bay Path University.