March 24, 2014

REVIEW: CHOPPER! CHOPPER! Poetry from Bordered Lives by Verónica Reyes



the poet shouted one last grito de Dolores
para her mamá and all the women who came before her
who carved the path and created this red road to follow
every one stood on their feet and threw a grito con orgullo
Panocha!  Power!



Personal. Familial. Cultural.

CHOPPER! CHOPPER!  is dramatic and bold.  This collection will "seep into (our) sueños" and "linger on (our) everyday thoughts," which is why it is a Finalist for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 International Latino Book Awards. 
 
Verónica Reyes paints intimate portraits of her East L.A. neighborhood, family and local haunts with daring rhythm and raw sensuality.  The neighborhood may have clear borders, but the collection's themes are universal -- love, friendship, survival and sexual freedom. 
 
Panocha Power is paramount in this collection.  From the Marimacha strutting down Whittier Boulevard to the Super Queer sipping Kahlua on Santa Monica to the Xicana on lesbiana time joining arms with the straight babes in solidarity -- all memorialized "en tinta negra forever."
 
Readers will be fascinated with this collection from an exciting new voice in Chicana feminism and Lesbian Studies.
 
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   Verónica Reyes is a Chicana feminist jota poet from East Los Angeles, California.  She holds a BA from California State University, Long Beach and her MFA from University of Texas, El Paso.  Her poems give voice to all her communities:  Chicanas/os, immigrants, Mexican Americans, and la jotería.  Reyes has won AWP's Intro-Journal Project, an Astraea Lesbian Foundation Emerging Artist award, been a Finalist for the Andrés Montoya Poetry award, and a Finalist --twice!!-- for the Lambda Literary Awards.  She has received grants and fellowships from Vermont Studio Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Ragdale Foundation, and Montalvo Arts Center.  Her work has appeared in Calyx, Feminist Studies, ZYXXYVA, and The New York Quarterly.  To learn more about Verónica Reyes, visit http://redhen.org/authors/veronica-reyes/.

 
Check out La Bloga's interview with Verónica Reyes here.
 
Check out the other Finalists and Categories of the 2014 International Latino Book Awards here.

AND, meet the author on Thursday, May 22, at La Casa Azul Bookstore in NYC.