Spanish and Portuguese ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-24-2020


This paper focuses on poetic narratives that consider the folklore figure of La Llorona. I argue that contemporary nuevomexicana poets are responding to regional narratives as a way of challenging traditional structures of the lore and female archetypes to reclaim the identity and voice of the figure of La Llorona. Through literature that considers structure and archetype of the lore, Chicana feminist theory, and spectral theory, this essay surveys a selection of poems: “La Llorona Speaks” (2018) by Mercedez Holtry, “Una Carta de Amor de la Llorona” (2011) by Jessica Helen Lopez and “La Llorona” (2018) by Joanna Vidaurre-Trujillo. Through the consideration of the figure of La Llorona in nuevomexicana poetry and my own poetic narrative produced for this project, this investigation explores poetry as a way of navigating themes of identity, grief, and memory, offering a symbolic representation of the lore as an empowering narrative of resistance.

Degree Name

Spanish (MA)

Level of Degree


Department Name

Spanish and Portuguese

First Committee Member (Chair)

Anna Nogar

Second Committee Member

Eleuterio Santiago-Díaz

Third Committee Member

Santiago Vaquera-Vásquez


La Llorona; New Mexican Literature; Contemporary Chicana Poetry; Jessica Helen Lopez; Mercedez Holtry; Joanna Vidaurre-Trujillo

Document Type