Rooting for Spices

Carlos Emilio Rodriguez, University of Texas at El Paso


The overarching theme of my thesis combines elements of magical realism with historical people, events, indigenous (Taino/Borike’n) spirituality, and folktales of Puerto Rico. Specifically, I researched, learned, wrote about, and explored the island’s dense history, political struggles, and importance to the colonizing countries of Spain and the United States. The proposed project required significant research time to depict these subjects, people, places, and stories with greater accuracy. I used what I discovered and applied it in chronological sections depicting the island’s historical narrative. I also attempted to employ a process of historical recall referred to as postmemory by Marianne Hirsch. She describes it as the “relationship of the second generation to powerful, often traumatic, experiences that preceded their births but that were nevertheless transmitted to them so deeply as to seem to constitute memories in their own right” (Hirsch 103). My poems characterized or symbolized the stories, people, places, and events of Puerto Rico in three sections. They portray the amount of (or lack thereof) historical, spiritual, and folkloric resources that were available.

Subject Area

Creative writing

Recommended Citation

Rodriguez, Carlos Emilio, "Rooting for Spices" (2021). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28868867.