"Since tenderness is necessary but not sufficient in this world, Laurie Ann Guerrero has written her own manifestos, declarations of principle and poetics, telling us what it means to be an artist in a community under attack.​..She invokes ancestors, collective memories, hands that do what needs to be done...." -Martín Espada from the introduction

"Fans of former Texas Poet Laureate, Laurie Ann Guerrero, will be delighted to find that I Have Eaten the Rattlesnake: New and Selected Poems has just the right mix of her patented, powerful imagery and messages that leave their mark." -Jose B. Gonzalez for Latino Stories, "Notable 2021 Latinx Books You Should Have Bought By Now"

“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 Be Recorder

“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 Postcolonial Love Poem 

“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 The Black Maria

“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

​"Thistrend toward reclaiming the crown, to accept the form’s constraints while writing against them and, in many instances, employing the sonnet sequence to elegize the dead, finds unparalleled expression in A Crown for Gumecindo, the second collection by Laurie Ann Guerrero, author of the widely-praised, wickedly exquisite, A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying (2013). This book-length heroic crown is a somber and sobering constellation of sonnets addressed to the poet’s grandfather, Gumecindo Martínez Guerrero, who passed away during the summer of 2013. In this severely personal, carefully structured sequence, Guerrero unpacks the event and aftermath, the meditations, vows, and reckoning that surface in the wake of loss. Amid the devastating imagery ('I wanted to take the shears to you: cut out the softened brain, the evaporating bone') and blindsiding obsession ('weeds that sprout like vocal chords: he’s dead / they hum'), two unconventional facets of Guerrero’s crown stand out: the careful scarcity of words on each page, and the artwork -stunning charcoal and acrylic pieces by Maceo Montoya- interspersed throughout." -Diego Baez for The Rumpus




2014-16 POET LAUREATE OF San Antonio 

"These poems restore my faith in the power of poetry." — Francisco X. Alarcón, judge

“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                         

“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

"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

"In her visceral debut, Guerrero hacks away unnecessary language 'like an axe murderer.' By relying on careful lineation and striking imagery, she weaves a complex tapestry that displays a body ravaged by history. She sews images together with language like a skein of blood red embroidery thread. A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying reveals what it means to conquer with, and be conquered by, imagistic language." -Leslie Marie Aguilar for Indiana Review

"A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying... is a collection about war, though not in the sense of traditional combat. Laurie Ann Guerrero’s first book, and winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, presents the speaker as a soldier of sorts—exposing the war between white and brown, woman and nation, poet and self....But victimhood, in this context, is not a landscape the speaker inhabits for any significant length of time. To put it frankly, homegirl is ready to fight." -Niki Herd for Post No Ills