Tejada’s first poetry collection is written mostly while immersed in the vibrant art and literary environment of Mexico City in the nineties. Encompassing the transnational and temporal ruptures of political and intimate experience, these poems of cultural displacement and sensuousness incite a complex reinvigoration of history. Through ceaseless negotiations between pleasure and possession, Tejada’s poems inhabit a space where “awkwardness of form no longer mattered” not only in the aesthetics of line and meaning, but in occlusion of sexuality and gender. Spiritual subsistence despite colonial brutality and industrial expansion within the Americas also transcends simple religious prescriptions here. In this collection, physical redemption is kindled by a radical sensuality where “need diminishes where it never meant to loom.”
Tejada is explicitly interested in economies of exchange, and in these complex exchanges, the political, sexual, and psychological become different faces of one another…. As readers move through poems attempting to come to terms with New World Hispanic identity and explore what it means to have a self in the confluences of same-sex desire, all through the multifaceted poetics of North American avant-garde poetry, they undergo an incredibly rich and lyrically dense experience.
—Joel Bettridge, Jacket
You walk through his world as a voyeur, a traveler of mirrors, witnessing your own reflection in the masses of flesh, simultaneously aroused and disturbed at the same time. Tejada’s work is an invitation, a window into another world, unabashedly erotic, and succinct.
—Christine Lark Fox, Poetry Project Newsletter
[Tejada] is continually working to disturb our preconceptions of tradition, of a singular version of history; the book’s greatest risk—and perhaps its greatest achievement—is the fluency with which it negotiates and reengages the erotic within this already risky, ambitious project.
—Carmen Giménez Smith, Latino Poetry Review
Roberto Tejada’s Mirrors for Gold is a theoretically sophisticated and often beautiful meditation on the embodied baroque that doubles as a North-South political erotics.
—Urayoán Noel, Contemporary Literature
If one considers, as Tejada does, Mirrors for Gold as a book concerned with the dialogue between the psychology of otherness and the violence of conquest, the equation of sex as language/language as sex is predicated on considering the body as a vessel of power, one that can wield touch without consciousness as well as, so to speak, have a mind of its own.