The Verging Cities, Poetry

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Mexico, Poetry, United States on 2017-01-09 02:02Z by Steven

The Verging Cities, Poetry

Center For Literary Publishing
80 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-885635-43-3
6.5 x 8.5 inches

Natalie Scenters-Zapico

  • Poets and Writers Top Debut Poets 2015
  • Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award
  • NACCS-Tejas Foco Best Poetry Book of 2015

Ninth in the Mountain West Poetry Series, edited by Stephanie G’Schwind & Donald Revell

From undocumented men named Angel, to angels falling from the sky, Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s gripping debut collection, The Verging Cities, is filled with explorations of immigration and marriage, narco-violence and femicide, and angels in the domestic sphere. Deeply rooted along the US-México border in the sister cities of El Paso, Texas, and Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, these poems give a brave new voice to the ways in which international politics affect the individual. Composed in a variety of forms, from sonnet and epithalamium to endnotes and field notes, each poem distills violent stories of narcos, undocumented immigrants, border patrol agents, and the people who fall in love with each other and their traumas.

The border in Scenters-Zapico’s The Verging Cities exists in a visceral place where the real is (sur)real. In these poems mouths speak suspended from ceilings, numbered metal poles mark the border and lovers’ spines, and cities scream to each other at night through fences that “ooze only silt.” This bold new vision of border life between what has been named the safest city in the United States and the murder capital of the world is in deep conversation with other border poets—Benjamin Alire Saenz, Gloria Anzaldúa, Alberto Ríos, and Luis Alberto Urrea—while establishing itself as a new and haunting interpretation of the border as a verge, the beginning of one thing and the end of another in constant cycle.

Read an excerpt here.

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The Dozen

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Poetry on 2016-07-15 01:00Z by Steven

The Dozen

Sibling Rivalry Press
120 pages
6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
ISBN: 978-1-943977-10-9

Casey Rocheteau

The Dozen is the debut collection from the first winner of Write A House, Casey Rocheteau. This book of poems is intended as a game that grows outward. The idea is to reinvent the dozens and juke what is truly oppressive about the world. The Dozen is also literal: 12 poems in each of four sections, playing off of each other, scraping against each other messily, harmonizing, clowning each other and sometimes themselves. Above all, The Dozen is intended as an invitation to unwind the clocks, shake off the shame we learned as kids, stop talking about other people’s mamas, and call out the things in our culture that are so ugly they turned Medusa to stone.

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Posted in Biography, Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United Kingdom on 2016-06-23 18:09Z by Steven


Bloodaxe Books
72 pages
234 x 156 mm
Paperback ISBN: 9781780372839
E-book ISBN: 9781780372846

Hannah Lowe

Chan is a mercurial name, representing the travellers and shape-shifters of the poems in this collection. It is one of the many nicknames of Hannah Lowe’s Chinese-Jamaican father, borrowed from the Polish émigré card magician Chan Canasta. It is also a name from China, where her grandfather’s story begins. Alongside these figures, there’s Joe Harriott, the Jamaican alto saxophonist, shaking up 1960s London; a cast of other long-lost family; and a ship full of dreamers sailing from Kingston to Liverpool in 1947 on the SS Ormonde.

Hannah Lowe’s second collection follows her widely acclaimed debut, Chick, which took readers on a journey round her father, a gambler who disappeared at night to play cards or dice in London’s old East End to support his family.

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The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2016-04-22 01:34Z by Steven

The Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes and Shifts of Los Angeles

Northwestern University Press
250 pages
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1882688524

Edited by:

Daniel A. Olivas

Neelanjana Banerjee

Ruben J. Rodriguez

This anthology features the vitality and variety of verse in the City of Angels, a city of poets. This is more about range then representation, voice more than volume. Los Angeles has close to 60 percent people of color, 225 languages spoken at home, and some of the richest and poorest persons in the country. With an expansive 502.7 square miles of city (and beyond, including the massive county of 4,752.32 square miles), the poetry draws on imagery, words, stories, and imaginations that are also vast, encompassing, a real “leaves of grass.”

Well-known poets include Holly Prado, Ruben Martinez, traci kato-kiriyama, and Lynne Thompson. Many strong new voices, however, makes this a well-rounded collection for any literary class, program, bookstore, or event.

The image of the coiled serpent appears in various forms in mythologies throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, India, and America. In pre-conquest times, Quetzalcoatl—the Precious Serpent—served as a personification of earth-bound wisdom, the arts and eldership in so-called Meso-America, one of seven “cradles of civilization” that also includes China, Nigeria, Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus Valley, and Peru.

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The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Media Archive, Poetry, United States, Women on 2016-04-02 18:07Z by Steven

The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde

W. W. Norton & Company
February 2000
512 pages
6.2 × 9.3 in
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-393-31972-9

Audre Lorde (1934-1992)

A complete collection—over 300 poems—from one of this country’s most influential poets.

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Terra Incognita: Poems by Adebe DeRango-Adem

Posted in Books, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2016-02-28 18:54Z by Steven

Terra Incognita: Poems by Adebe DeRango-Adem

Inanna Publications
80 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77133-217-0

Adebe DeRango-Adem

Titled after the Latin term for “unknown land”—a cartographical expression referring to regions that have not yet been mapped or documented—Terra Incognita is a collection of poems that creatively explores various racial discourses and interracial crossings buried in history’s grand narratives. Set against the similarities as well as incongruities of the Canadian/American backdrop of race relations, Terra Incognita explores the cultural memory and legacy of those whose histories have been the site of erasure, and who have thus—riffing on the Heraclitus’s dictum that “geography is fate”—been forced to redraw themselves into the texts of history. Finally, Terra Incognita is a collection that delves into the malleable borders of identity and questions what it means to move physically and spiritually, for our bodies to arrive and depart, our souls to relocate and change their scope.

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Braided Skin, Poems

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Canada, Media Archive, Poetry on 2016-02-15 15:52Z by Steven

Braided Skin, Poems

Mother Tongue Publishing
96 pages
8″ x 6″
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-896949-50-5

Chelene Knight

Braided Skin is the vibrant telling of experiences of mixed ethnicity, urban childhood, poverty and youthful dreams through various voices. Knight writes a confident rhythm of poetry, prose and erasure by using the recurring image of braiding–a different metaphor than “mixing,” our default when speaking the language of race. In the title poem “Braided Skin,” this terminology shifts, to entwining and crossing, holding together but always displaying the promise or threat of unravelling. This is just as all tellings of family, history and relationships must be–“Skin that carries stories of missing middles.” When speaking about race, Knight raises the question, then drops it, and the image becomes other objects, then abstraction, and memory–finally becoming something “she breathes in” actively.

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Shapes & Disfigurements of Ramond Antrobus

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Poetry, United Kingdom on 2016-01-26 00:05Z by Steven

Shapes & Disfigurements of Ramond Antrobus

Burning Eye Books
36 pages
12.9 x 0.3 x 19.8 cm
Paperback ISBN: 978-1909136076

Raymond Antrobus

This third book in the Burning Eye pamphlet series (following Sally Jenkinson’s Sweat-borne Secrets and Mairi Campbell-Jack’s This Is A Poem…) presents Raymond Antrobus, a poet from Hackney with a talent for plucking poetry from the mouths of ordinary people. Whether a strawberry seller in Sweden, a homeless man on a London street or a taxi driver in South Africa, Raymond channels their voices through his own. This is the work of a confident young poet with an exceptional ear for language.

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Bendición: The Complete Poetry of Tato Laviera

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2016-01-17 02:17Z by Steven

Bendición: The Complete Poetry of Tato Laviera

Arte Público Press
346 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-55885-800-8

Tato Laviera (1950-2013)

Introduction by: Laura Lomas
Preface by: Nicolás Kanellos

“i think in spanish / i write in english / i want to go back to puerto rico / but I wonder if my kink could live / in ponce, mayaguez and carolina.” Born in Puerto Rico but raised in New York City, Tato Laviera’s poetry reflects his bilingual, bicultural Nuyorican existence while celebrating the universality of the human condition and his European, indigenous and African roots.

Tato Laviera explores identity, community, urban life, oppression and much more in these multi-layered pieces that spanned his too-short life. Many deal with themes specific to the immigrant experience, such as the sense of alienation many feel when they are not accepted in their native or adopted land. In “nuyorican,” he writes about returning to his native island, only to be looked down upon for his way of speaking: “ahora regreso, con un corazón boricua, y tú / me desprecias, me miras mal, me atacas mi hablar.”

Music and dance, an integral part of Puerto Rican life, permeate Laviera’s verse and pay homage to the Caribbean’s African roots. “i hear merengue in french haiti / and in dominican blood, / and the guaracha in yoruba, / and the mambo sounds inside the plena.”

Including all of his previously published poems and some that have never been published, these are bold expressions of hybridity in which people of mixed races speak a combination of languages. He skillfully weaves English and Spanish, and frequently writes in Spanglish. The importance of language and its impact on his identity is evident in poems entitled “Español,” “Bilingue” and “Spanglish.” Known for his lively, energetic poetry readings, Bendición represents an internationally recognized poet’s life work and will serve to keep Tato Laviera’s words and the issues he wrote about alive long after his death.

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Women Warriors of the Afro-Latina Diaspora

Posted in Anthologies, Autobiography, Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Poetry, Women on 2016-01-17 01:22Z by Steven

Women Warriors of the Afro-Latina Diaspora

Arte Público Press
248 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-55885-746-9

Edited by: Marta Moreno Vega, Alba Marinieves and Yvette Modestin

Afro-Latina women relate their personal stories and advocacy for racial equality

“My housewife mother turned into a raging warrior woman when the principal of my elementary school questioned whether her daughter and the children of my public school had the intelligence to pass a citywide test,” Marta Moreno Vega writes in her essay. She knew then she was loved and valued, and she learned that to be an Afro-Puerto Rican woman meant activism was her birth right.

Hers is one of eleven essays and four poems included in this volume in which Latina women of African descent share their stories. The authors included are from all over Latin America—Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Panama, Puerto Rico and Venezuela—and they write about the African diaspora and issues such as colonialism, oppression and disenfranchisement. Diva Moreira, a black Brazilian, writes that she experienced racism and humiliation at a very young age. The worst experience, she remembers, was when her mother’s bosses told her she didn’t need to go to school after the fourth grade, “because blacks don’t need to study more than that.”

The contributors span a range of professions, from artists to grass-roots activists, scholars and elected officials. Each is deeply engaged in her community, and they all use their positions to advocate for justice, racial equality and cultural equity. In their introduction, the editors write that these stories provide insight into the conditions that have led Afro-Latinas to challenge systems of inequality, including the machismo that is still prominent in Spanish-speaking cultures.

A fascinating look at the legacy of more than 400 years of African enslavement in the Americas, this collection of personal stories is a must-read for anyone interested in the African diaspora and issues of inequality and racism.

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