David Campos

David Campos is the son of Mexican immigrants, a CantoMundo fellow, and the author of Furious Dusk (University of Notre Dame Press, 2015) which won the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. His poems and other work have appeared in Prairie Schooner, the American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, and Queen Mob’s Teahouse among many others. He teaches English at Fresno City College.

All Books

American Quasar

David Campos, Maceo Montoya

Publication Date: June 22, 2021

$16.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 9781597094481


*HONORABLE MENTION in the 2022 International Latino Book Awards*

American Quasar is a visual-textual collaboration between poet David Campos and artist Maceo Montoya. What began as an exploration of the precipice of violence evolved into an excavation of self, a deep meditation on how country, family, and trauma affect the ability to love. The images and words build a poetic space where the body is understood in both physical and celestial terms, giving a spiritual dimension to the collection’s larger claim that the political is personal.


“David Campos’ American Quasar is a true force of collaboration that implores a new vision of exegesis with the renowned artist, Maceo Montoya. How can we love what hurts us, and how can we love the things we hurt? Here is a speaker kneeling in reverence to a god, a lover, or a self which we can acutely love and hurt at the same time. Set in the storied landscape of the California Central Valley, this book is an indictment of what America has burned or buried, and a document of all that has nonetheless survived in the ashes: the name of a distant father, the gravity of the past on our chest. Powerfully surreal and imagistic, Campos is a necessary voice both tender and unrelenting, a voice that is both wound and salve. How fortunate we are for the gifts of poet and artist at the height of their powers.”—Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, author of Centzontle

“‘The apocalypse doesn’t have to be violent. // The horsemen are mirrors.’ American Quasar looks in rather than out, registering the catastrophe of our times in the merest activities of our most intimate selves. It’s a book of spiritual exercises, and its ruminations are ragged, memorable, desperate prayers. Notebook-like in the intimacy of their entanglement, the lyrics and images combine in dynamic and tender reflection. Campos’ fierce, direct contemplations turn ordinary anxiety into dramatic and memorable gesture; Montoya’s subtle but searing images frame human thought as embodied activity. Both text and image remind us that we exist vibrantly in those states of ambivalence, grief, and anger that we most fear: ‘What if the wreckage, / the carnage, the catastrophe, was your music?'”—Katie Peterson, author of A Piece of Good News


Latino Stories Interviews David Campos, author of AMERICAN QUASAR

This interview with David Campos is part of a Latino Stories series with Latinx authors. David Campos, a CantoMundo Fellow, is the author of American Quasar (Red Hen Press 2021) and Furious Dusk (University of Notre Dame 2015) which won the 2014 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize.

David Campos & Maceo Montoya (AMERICAN QUASAR) interviewed in the American Book Review!

Early twentieth-century maverick creator, Guillaume Apollinaire, famously declared, “l’esprit nouveau et les poetes.” With extraordinary collaborations between visual crafters and wordsmiths—Picasso and Max Jacob (Saint Matorel [1911]), Ginsburg and Francesco Clemente (The White Shroud [1986]), Norma Cantú and Marta Sánchez (Transcendental Train Yard [2015]), for instance—I emphatically declare: the vitality of the poetic-arts is Latinx hybrid modal co-creations. David Campos […]


AMERICAN QUASAR by David Campos reviewed in Rhino Poetry!

David Campos’s second collection, American Quasar, follows a lonely speaker’s dreams, meditations, and prayers to understand life. Campos juxtaposes inhumanity in the modern United States with inhumanity in the nuclear family, ultimately finding solace in space. Art by Maceo Montoya adds both texture and depth, further amplifying the message of human desolation. Read the review […]