Islander Poets Interview Series – Dr. Rossy Lima

Dr. Rossy Evelin Lima, an Assistant Professor in Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s Humanities Department, is an esteemed writer, scholar, and translator, boasting an illustrious career marked by remarkable achievements. With three poetry collections and two children’s books to her credit, Dr. Lima’s literary prowess has earned her widespread acclaim, featuring in esteemed journals, magazines, and anthologies across numerous countries and languages. Notably, she is the founder of Jade Publishing and serves as the Board President and Executive Director of Latino Book Review. 

She has an impressive list of awards including the Corpus Christi under 40 by the Young Professionals of the Coastal Bend (Corpus Christi, TX, 2023), the Spirit of MLK Exemplary Award by the Islander Cultural Alliance for her work in equity, diversity and inclusion (Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, 2023), the Poet of the Year Award by The Americas Poetry Festival of New York (NY, 2018), the Premio Internazionale di Poesia La Finestra Eterea award (Milan, Italy, 2017), the International Latino Book Award (USA, 2016), the Premio Orgullo Fronterizo Mexicano award by the Institute of Mexicans Abroad for her outstanding career as a writer and academic (USA, 2016), the Premio Internazionale di Poesia Altino award (Venice, Italy, 2015), and the National Gabriela Mistral Award by the National Hispanic Honor Society for her work with the Hispanic community (USA, 2010), among others. 

In her interview, Dr. Lima discusses the challenges she has faced as both a poet and an undocumented writer in the United States. “Uno de los obstáculos más fuertes que he enfrentado como escritora en Estados Unidos ha sido al escribir poesía en español, pues yo escribo en español porque es mi lengua materna y a pesar de pues ser académica y escribir en inglés.. no hay muchas oportunidades para escritores en español en Estados Unidos.” (One of the strongest obstacles I’ve faced as a writer in the United States has been writing poetry in Spanish. I write in Spanish because it’s my mother tongue, and despite being academic and writing in English within academia… there aren’t many opportunities for Spanish-language writers in the United States). 

She talks about her writing process and expresses the importance of resiliency, especially when submitting her works in Spanish and being rejected by publishers. “Es difícil aceptar tantos rechazos sin embargo tenemos que considerar que pues la poesía sobre todo es muy subjetiva y el hecho de que una persona o una revista no considere que el poema pues es adecuado para ellos no significa que ese poema no es adecuado para otra audiencia y por eso es muy importante seguir intentando.” (It’s difficult to accept so many rejections, but we have to consider that poetry, above all, is very subjective, and the fact that one person or one magazine doesn’t consider the poem suitable for them doesn’t mean that it’s not suitable for another audience. That’s why it’s very important to keep trying). At the end of the interview, she encourages writers to attend creative writing workshops and learn how publishers work in order to facilitate getting accepted for publishing.  

Also, many thanks and kudos to librarian colleague Aída Almanza-Ferro, who conducted the interview, undertook the work of translating subtitles, and wrote this blog post! Learn more about Dr. Lima’s work at  

Watch her full interview here!