Named 2015 Latino Books Must-Reads from Indispensable Small Presses
Winner of the 2016 Texas Institute of Letters Helen C. Smith Poetry Award
Winner of the 2012 Andres Montoya Poetry Prize
and the 2013 International Latino Book Award for Poetry
“This crown of sonnets and the Maceo Montoya paintings that accompany them embody the complexity and depth of elegy. Wrought from both love and anguish, Guerrero, one of our finest lyric poets…invites us to the complex and dense universe of familial bonds.”
—CARMEN GIMÉNEZ SMITH, author of Milk and Filth
PRAISE FOR A TONGUE IN THE MOUTH OF THE DYING
"These poems restore my faith in the power of poetry."
— Francisco X. Alarcón, judge
“Guerrero writes in a language of the body, visceral, almost unbearably vivid, the language of a poet who knows how to work with her hands. In an age when so many poems say nothing, these poems miss nothing ...attention must be paid to such a poet now and for years to come.”
— Martín Espada, author of Vivas to Those Who Have Failed
“Guerrero has always written pointedly with a sharp pen and a sharp knife always at the ready. In her first full-length collection, these dazzling, edgy, irascible poems lean into their sweet natural bristling air, stitching and stretching image to image. This is the singing blue glory of language at its best.”
— Nikky Finney, author of Head Off & Split
“In poems crafted with tremendous skill, Laurie Ann Guerrero’s A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying explores, so often, the ways in which the colonized or poor or brown have been brutalized, and their stories written by the conquerors. But the wonderful discovery one makes while reading what’s often painful and heart-breaking is that Guerrero’s the one telling us. In other words, the re-writing is begun. This is a powerful, necessary book.”
— Ross Gay, author of Bringing the Shovel Down
"A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying is populated by...women who defy and trouble long-held assumptions about, and expectations of, motherhood and maternal behavior: here, mothers take lovers, make war, cause damage — “make carnage of [their] own mouth[s].” And they also write daring poems that break with polite and romanticized representations of femininity, situating the woman as the source of her own volition, a daunting force to be reckoned with."
—Rigoberto Gonzalez for LA Review of Books
"..these verses of germination and carrying, of labor and production, deliver us to a place of potent ferocity, expressed in multilingual cries, embodied by the wide, red lips of earthenware vessels, and through eyes that refuse to back down."
—Diego Báez for Booklist Online
Laurie Ann Guerrero
Copyright 2017. Laurie Ann Guerrero. All rightsreserved.
"Guerrero... is a badass of poetic proportion."
--San Antonio Current
2014-2016 Poet Laureate of San Antonio 2016-2017 Poet Laureate of Texas
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PRAISE FOR A CROWN FOR GUMECINDO
"For the chiaroscuro that Laurie Ann Guerrero’s poetry renders in compelling language and form, the stark and visceral paintings of artist Maceo Montoya illustrates in bold images that alternately compliment or contrast the poet’s subject. One thing that remains consistent between these two mediums: one always proves necessary in shedding light on the other. This dance between sonnet and painting, image and verse, coupled with the refined hand of craftsmanship from both artists, is what makes A Crown for Gumecindo a rare kind of gem."
—TIM Z. HERNANDEZ, author of Mañana Means Heaven
“Guerrero skillfully shapes the sonnet to build a crown of memory, tenderness, and grief for a man who becomes more than a man in this collection... Gumecindo, in these poems, becomes our beloved, our grandfather, the carpenter and king of our broken hearts.” —NATALIE DIAZ, author of When My Brother Was an Aztec
“After the death of her beloved grandfather, Guerrero turns to the work and craft of poem-making and collaboration as methods of survival. The result is a tenaciously, keenly honed crown of sonnets that live in the territory of loss, resilience, and grief. In this book, the formal projects are profoundly linked to the heart of the content: interruptions, ruptures, and layers of texts seem to be as much about the anxiety of losing, loss, and, sometimes, of forgetting. A Crown for Gumecindo was worked for, and earned, and not without great resistance. The result of that work is staggering.”
—ARACELIS GIRMAY, author of Kingdom Animalia
“A crafts woman, the poet makes home with her hands. Digging up dirt and memories and dreams, Guerrero carves this heroic crown out from the depths of her sorrow and lays her grief, her mourning down on the page. We feel the fragility of time and life, the absence, the loss, but find refuge in these poems masterfully constructed by her hands, the foundation laid in Gumecindo’s song. An exquisite collection.”
—VIRGINIA GRISE, author of blu