Poetry has an almost magical ability to make what once seemed like isolating truths about oneself into shared realities among groups of people. In her first published book, Afro-Dominican Aruban poet Yakari Gabriel accomplishes this mystically, writing in a way that is relatable and invites the reader to review their world by offering intimate insights into her own.
“Cold Coffee Vol 1” reads like one of those late-night talks you and a good friend have. The ones where time is forgotten, life is just this room and the person you’re sitting with, and your heart is more open than you ever experienced before in your life. That’s because Gabriel infuses her personal experiences with universal episodes, such as love, pain, loss and learning, to create art that is relatable to many.
At the age of four, Gabriel’s family emigrated from the Dominican Republic to Aruba – an immigration experience that differs from most Dominicans, who often migrate to the United States or Spain. In her TEDxOranjestadWomen talk, Gabriel touches on the discrimination she experienced while in Aruba, disclosing that it has impacted the way she exists in the world.