Floating somewhere between fantasy and reality, between the mind and the body, is Güera, the latest poetry collection from Rebecca Gaydos. Published in 2016, the book is divided into five distinct parts, including prologue and epilogue. What struck me initially was the sparseness of each page, made up of stanzas that read as prose instead of verse. However, as I began to read, the weight of each word became immediately apparent.
In his 2016 collection of essays, Another Day in the Death of America, award-winning journalist Gary Younge takes on the high death rates of young people in America. As a parent, he has become acutely aware of, and troubled by, the statistics surrounding the gun-related fates met by an average of seven American children per day. Here, he offers the reader a somber snapshot comprised of ten deaths that occurred over a single twenty-four hour period: November 23rd, 2013.
The first time you pick up Chopper! Chopper! Poetry from Bordered Lives, the temptation to dig through your old college textbooks for your Spanish/English dictionary might be hard to resist. Verónica Reyes charges her lines—nearly every single one—with the sharp electricity of her East L.A. tongue. It’s this dance, this lingual limbo, that transports you straight into the streets of her city. Not tethering herself to English alone allows her to draw beauty from both languages, to choose her words twice as thoughtfully.