Still Nowhere in an Empty Vastness

In this collection of essays and lyric manifestos published by Noemi Press in 2019, Roberto Tejada re-envisions an extensive breadth of history by engaging with narratives across American landscapes of colonial brutality and theft. The uneven relationships of dispossession that haunt this hemisphere are illuminated by way of a vast collection of writers and artists in this book. From the imperial encounters of Cabeza de Vaca and Mary Rowlandson, to the media constructed spectacle of Elian Gonzalez’s migration that highlight the ambivalence of hospitality in the borderlands; to George Oppen and Anita Brenner writing from Mexico in their unique vantage point for unveiling hidden figures of a colonial past; and the neo-baroque poetry of Cuban José Lezama Lima as well as innovative Los Angeles based writer and artist Harry Gamboa Jr., in their work of complex and diffuse masculinities. These essays reveal a relationship between history and metaphor as a discourse which extends back beyond the present, in the hope for a voluptuous Latinx poetics of social imperative.

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