Details

Biography
Topics
Art & Politics
Immigration
Latinxs
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer
Multiculturalism
Performance
Poetry/Spoken Word
Programs for High School Students
Racism/Racial Justice
Yosimar Reyes is a nationally-acclaimed poet, educator, performance artist, and speaker. Born in Guerreo, Mexico, and raised in Eastside San Jose, Reyes explores the themes of migration and sexuality in his work. The Advocate named Reyes one of "13 LGBT Latinos Changing the World" and Remezcla included Reyes on their list of "10 Up And Coming Latinx Poets You Need To Know."
His first collection of poetry, For Colored Boys Who Speak Softly… was self published after a collaboration with the legendary Carlos Santana. His work has also been published in various online journals and books including Mariposas: An Anthology of Queer Modern Latino Poetry (Floricanto Press), Queer in Aztlán: Chicano Male Recollections of Consciousness and Coming Out (Cognella Press), and the forthcoming Joto: An Anthology of Queer Xicano & Chicano Poetry (Kórima Press). Reyes was featured in the Documentary, "2nd Verse: The Rebirth of Poetry."
Reyes currently serves as Artist-in-Residence at the media and culture organization, Define American, the non-profit organization founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas that is dedicated to shifting the conversation surrounding immigration and identity in a changing America.
Reyes has toured and presented at university campuses across the United States. He  is co-founder of performance ensemble, La Maricolectiva, a community-based performance group of queer undocumented poets. He is currently working on his one man show, "Prieto," to premier in the near future. He holds a B.A in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.
 
Testimonials
“I've rarely seen students as thrilled to have a guest join us, as they were for Yosimar when he was the keynote speaker for the state-wide Queer & Trans People of Color Conference at UC Santa Cruz. Yosimar’s powerful, honest and vulnerable performance and storytelling gifts had everyone in the audience laughing, snapping, “yaaas”-ing, shedding tears of laughter, joy and of pain. As one student shared with me after Yosimar’s performance, “I needed those stories and his energy now more than ever, that was like therapy for my queer, undocumented soul!”
— Travis Becker, Director of the Cantú Queer Center, University of California, Santa Cruz 
"Yosimar Reyes creatively theorizes and deconstructs the experiences of undocumented folk, queer folk, and Latinx folk is visionary, cutting edge, and so necessary for all to hear. His critiques are sharp, and his approach is loving and joy-filled. His pain is vivid, and still his voice and vision for self and collective healing is unmatched in the creative world, as well as activist and academic spaces."
Anita Tijerina Revilla, Associate Professor and Chair on Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies and Ex-Officio Co-Chair of the Association of Joteria Arts, Activism and Scholarship

“Yosimar Reyes humanizes the complex experiences of undocumented immigrants living in the United States today, allowing us to look through a lens layered with joy, struggle, resiliency, and hope. His works pushed my students towards a place of advocacy, action, and creation, showcasing how much we can learn when we listen and allow the affected to tell their own stories.”
— Emily Lang, Des Moines Public Schools

Speeches
UndocuJoy: Shifting the Perspective in Undocumented Representation
As the media focuses on gloom and doom narratives concerning undocumented immigrants in this country Yosimar offers an insightful look at the ways in which undocumented artists are resisting narratives of fear and creating works that give people hope. In this presentation Reyes explores the ideas of agency and allowing undocumented people to exist beyond narratives of deportations.

We Never Needed Papers to Thrive
A poignant and insightful workshop aimed at looking ways in which immigrants can be masters of their own narratives. This creative writing workshop aims to explore stories of resilience. 
Media