Roxane Gay, Myriam Gurba and others discuss the publishing ‘crisis’ after ‘American Dirt’

By Dorany Pineda
FROM: L.A. Times

90Long before Jeanine Cummins’ highly contentious “American Dirt” was published by Flatiron Books, the novel was raising red flags internally, according to Myriam Gurba.

Continue reading “Roxane Gay, Myriam Gurba and others discuss the publishing ‘crisis’ after ‘American Dirt’”

Book Review: Let the Buzzards Eat Me Whole

By Scott Neuffer
FROM: Trampset

1_iKgstnPn-oQUEUsnFtNpUQ@2x.jpegMy wife tells me not to talk about it: her trauma. She survived the dirty wars in Peru. If you talk, you die, she tells me. People don’t talk about it. The dead are dead. The living go on. Sorry, it’s not my place, I say. But these ghosts. I can feel them.

Continue reading “Book Review: Let the Buzzards Eat Me Whole”

A Great Spirit Trapped in a Tiny Life: On Cherríe Moraga’s “Native Country of the Heart”

By Michael Nava
FROM: Los Angeles Review of Books

download (1)Cherríe Moraga has been an iconic figure in queer and Latinx literature since the 1981 publication of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, an anthology she edited with the late Gloria Anzaldúa. Bridge was among the first explorations of how people and communities with multiple social identities — queer women of color, for example — are subject to intersecting discriminations that create complex and profound forms of oppression — what we now call intersectionality. In the decades since Bridge, Moraga has produced fiction, poetry, and plays, received awards and fellowships, and taught at Stanford University and the University of California at Santa Barbara. Even with these credentials, she, like other queer writers of color, has been patronized by a largely white, straight literary establishment, which often dismisses work like hers as special interest pleading, while hailing the work of straight, white writers for its universality.

Continue reading “A Great Spirit Trapped in a Tiny Life: On Cherríe Moraga’s “Native Country of the Heart””

ALMA ROSA RIVERA: BUILDING BRIDGES IN THE POETRY WORLD BETWEEN BROWN LOVE, MOTHERHOOD, AND POLITICS

By Astrid
FROM: LA Taco

Alma-Rosa-Rivera-2Alma Rosa Rivera is a bespeckled, Mexican American poet, mom, and wife who says she doesn’t like to “water down” her brownness. From the hot deserts in Santa Clarita to heavy smog and neon signs in Koreatown, Alma is representing brownness in all its glory.

Continue reading “ALMA ROSA RIVERA: BUILDING BRIDGES IN THE POETRY WORLD BETWEEN BROWN LOVE, MOTHERHOOD, AND POLITICS”

Untranslatable Voices: Vickie Vértiz Writes Los Ángeles in “Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut”

by Isabel Gómez

From: LARB

41CpYKt5dSL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_“IT’S THE BROKEN PARTS that matter” claims Vickie Vértiz, in a note to her poem “Nahuatl — A Revenge,” which features what she calls “imperfect” translations from the indigenous Nahuatl language into English. Vértiz’s imperfect translations recall what theorists Emily Apter and Jacques Lezra, following Walter Benjamin, call “untranslatables”: philosophical concepts that both invite and prevent transfer between languages, words that call out to be reinvented in their new language context precisely by resisting translation. In Vértiz’s poems, Latinxs living in California share “untranslatable” experiences that take place between English and Spanish. Her poems transform displacement and a polluted cityscape into sources of resistance and aesthetic restructuring. The visually and sonically rich setting of these poems may be polluted — by toxic air, water, and soil; toxic masculinity and white supremacy — but Vértiz celebrates what her community grows in this toxic ground and voices their untranslatable experiences.

Continue reading “Untranslatable Voices: Vickie Vértiz Writes Los Ángeles in “Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut””