A Wild Tongue Writes Back: Replying to Gloria Anzaldúa’s “Speaking in Tongues”


  • Rachel Romero


            Using a combination of transgressive methodologies, auto-historia/auto-ethnography, reflective narrative, prose and poetic transcription, I celebrate the opportunity to write back to Gloria Anzaldúa’s Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to 3rd World Women Writers[i]. In my response to Gloria, I explore a number of personal traumas including my anxiety and struggle to write for an academic audience, my internalization of whiteness as a Cuban immigrant, and my deep desire to find Voice and a community of Women of Color writers.       

            In solidarity with the #CiteWomenofColor movement, I am intentionally only making references to the Women of Color writers who have influenced my journey to find a voice. My crossing from where I was before, to where I find myself now—a transformation that began during the last two years since I first met Gloria—has been fueled by the dreaming and writings of these women. Throughout my awakening, these women represented an imagined community of Women of Color writers. The italicized words in this text come directly from Speaking in Tongues. I weave Anzaldúa’s words with mine because her words have wrapped me like a shawl and shielded when I needed comfort. I want for my words to bleed into hers, mesh with hers, be with hers—my refuge.    

[i] Gloria Anzaldúa. “Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to 3rd World Women Writers.” In This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa (Albany: State University of New York Pres, 2015). 163-172