Ysabel Y. Gonzalez, who also writes under the alias Ancestral Poetisa, has her Bachelors in Latino and Hispanic Caribbean studies from Rutgers University and is currently an MFA in Poetry candidate at Drew University’s low residency program.  Ysabel works for the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton University and is also a VONA alumna.

Ysabel has most recently been published in phati’tude Literary Magazine, Kalyani Magazine, Huizache, and forthcoming in Waxwing Literary Journal (October 2014).  You may find more of her work at



 Ysabel BCS Selfie

From her poem, “Azabache”:


“Martyred mother pin me close to la figa, an Azabache fist full of a peeking thumb. 

How the amuleto came to be is this: Tia Sola did not only make sancocho.  In Puerto Rico she had a room on the side where a memory will be placed in my mind that runs a backward timed line.  I see her pressed palms now, pushing back against cracked concepts.  A cigar smoked spell seeped from her lips into Mami’s nostrils as the translation was made.  I believe.  I believed. “


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