We Recommend: IMANIMAN: POETS WRITING IN THE BORDERLANDS
BY MONIQUE QUINTANA
Reviewed: IMANIMAN: POETS WRITING IN THE ANZALDUAN BORDERLANDS
Publisher: Aunt Lute Books
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Edited by Ire´ne Lara Silva and Dan Vera, IMANIMAN: Poets Writing in the Anzaldúan Borderlands is a hybrid anthology of poetry, scholarship, and criticism. Inspired by Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderlands/La Frontera: New Mestiza, this text reexamines what it means to navigate liminal spaces and negotiate the conflicts that occur within these spaces. Containing a dazzling forward by former Poet Laureate of the United States, Juan Felipe Herrera, 54 writers span the breadth of this book, making it an ideal addition to classrooms across the disciplines and essential reading for individuals wishing to return to and complicate their paradigm on cross-border narratives.
The works in this book take on forms symbiotic to border crossing, both literal and metaphorical. A notable piece includes Roy G. Guzman’s, “SELF PORTRAIT ACCORDING TO GEORGE W. BUSH,” which makes use of language from a televised speech to radicalize the call for immigrant rights in labyrinthine cityscapes and the clear echo of voices that demand respect, beauty, and integrity. In her poem, “my body is all memory,” Sarah A. Chavez turns the body politic inward then outward and inward again, mapping her own feminine identity with the looming presence of Anzaldúa and her words, words that haunt the speaker’s own tangible mouth, breasts, and skin.
IMANIMAN is an important text for recognizing the immense grip of colonialism and reclaiming the autonomy of our social and intellectual and intimate spirits and will hold relevancy for many years to come.
Monique Quintana is a contributing editor at Luna Luna Magazine, and her work has appeared in Huizache, Bordersenses, and The Acentos Review, among other publications. She is an alumna of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley and the Sundress Academy of the Arts and has been nominated for Best of the Net. She blogs about Latinx literature at her site, Blood Moon and is a pop culture contributor for Clash Media.