Latinx Studies. Creative Writing. Women Studies. Cultural Studies. Indigenous Studies.
Adopted at: The University of Notre Dame, Oklahoma State University, University of Idaho, Seattle University, Institute of American Indian Arts
Fleeing the shattered remains of her marriage and treachery by her sister, a Latina anthropologist named Claudia takes refuge in Neah Bay, a Native whaling village on the jagged Pacific coast. Claudia yearns to lose herself to the songs of the tribe and the secrets of a spirited hoarder named Maggie. Instead, she stumbles into Maggie’s prodigal son Peter, who, spurred by his mother’s failing memory, has returned seeking answers to his father’s murder. Claudia helps Peter’s family convey a legacy delayed for decades by that death, but her presence, echoing centuries of fraught contact with indigenous peoples, brings lasting change and real damage . . . read more
After Rubén (2020)
Latinx Studies. Creative Writing. Poetry. LGBTQ+.
Adopted at: UC Davis
After Rubén unfolds as a decades-long journey in poems and prose, braiding the personal, the political & the historical, interspersing along the way English-language versions & riffs of a Spanish-language master: Rubén Darío. Whether it’s biting portraits of public figures, or nuanced sketches of his father, Francisco Aragón has assembled his most expansive collection to date, evoking his native San Francisco, but also imagining ancestral spaces in Nicaragua. Readers will encounter pieces that splice lines from literary forebearers, a moving elegy to a sibling, a surprising epistle from the grave. In short: a book that is both trajectory & mosaic, complicating the conversation surrounding poetry in the Americas—above all as it relates to Latinx and queer poetics . . . read more
Rattlesnake Allegory (2019)
Latinx Studies. Poetry. LGBTQ+.
From poems about the speaker’s relationship with loneliness after the suicide of his lover to poems about discovering that dark part of oneself that he never knew existed, this collection is about the transformations of a queer brown body and the echoes of those shifts found in South Texas’s feathers, shadows, and trees . . . read more
Beasts Behave in Foreign Land (2017)
Latinx Studies. Poetry. Genocide and Exile.
Ruth Irupé Sanabria’s second collection of poetry, Beasts Behave In Foreign Land examines the internal landscape of a family confronting the psychological and emotional aftershocks of genocide and exile. Drawing on her personal experience during Argentina’s military dictatorship (1976 to 1983), these poems emerge from the defining moment in which she had the opportunity to testify in the trials against the Fifth Army Corps in Bahia Blanca, thirty-seven years after soldiers kidnapped, tortured, and imprisoned her parents. Weaving metaphor, ekphrasis, and voice, Sanabria’s poems pay tribute to the ways women in her family use art, music, and testimony to process the unspeakable and confront profound loss. Written in two sections and set in various cities throughout Argentina and the United States, the poems in Beasts Behave in Foreign Land explore the insistence and resiliency of love. . . read more
The Gravedigger’s Archaeology (2015)
Latinx Studies. Poetry.
The Gravedigger’s Archaeology writes the urban landscape of the US immigrant, a figure constantly reminded of the nameless and the dispossessed who struggle back home in Central America. Moving between past and present, these poems record a vigil of loss left by the emptiness of tedious excavation―both psychological and spiritual. They travel the fragments and vestiges of a war, the return to one’s homeland or place of childhood, unearthing the landscapes of a jazz riff, myth, or work of art. In a lyrical, sometimes elegiac language, the poems map the complex territory of an exile who understands the answers lie in the ground . . . read more
Chopper! Chopper! Poetry from Bordered Lives (2013)
Latinx Studies. Poetry.
Chopper! Chopper! reflects the lives of Mexican Americans, immigrants, and la jotería–malfloras, jotos, and other rainbow communities–across many generations. As vividly as Mexican Technicolor, these poems capture life in the barrio: vendors hauling carts with elote, raspados, botes y más. Vatos fighting to exist. Summer evenings, children playing in the calles of East L.A., El Paso, Toronto, of bordered tierras everywhere. Reyes’s work exudes the pride, strength, turmoil and struggle of neighborhoods brimming with tradition and invention. These homegrown verses reveal the barrio in all its intricate layers. Reveling in difference, they fight to make room for something new: marimacha poetry . . . read more
Speaking Wiri Wiri (2013)
Latinx Studies. Poetry.
Dan Vera’s Speaking Wiri Wiri is a work of historical insight and wry wit, unexpectedly delightful and full of surprises as it meditates on the challenges of multiple identities, ethnicity, geographies of migration, familial displacement, popular history, and more. Everything is fair game for Vera, who finds poetry in the mundane and the monumental, the hidden lives of iconic television stars and the alternate and accidental histories of Latinos in the United States. Carmen Miranda makes an appearance, as do Captain Kirk, Vladimir Nabokov, and José Martí in a literary landscape careening lyrically between lost and found . . . read more