9 Outstanding Latino Books Recently Published by Independent and University Presses
by RIGOBERTO GONZÁLEZ
The third month of 2017 is upon us but the publishing industry has been moving swiftly since the beginning of the year to supply discerning readers with quality literature. Among the spring season catalogues are a number of gems, all from independent and university presses, which aim to find a wide readership and that will appeal particularly to a Latino audience:
9. Felicia Zamora, Of Form & Gather (University of Notre Dame Press)
Winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize for a first book of poetry, Zamora's arresting book of prose poems thrives at the intersection of the ethereal and the ephemeral, the beautiful center of space and light. Wonder and music guide the speaker as she makes startling connections between the natural landscape, the human body and the languages that embrace their vulnerability and surprising strength: "let's all stammer as we say everything, word of worlds; both wide and otherwise; word in thalamus caught in kingdom of air, thought, & ink requires all & nothing of science/ to build inside a body/outside a body; we all in string to;/ lamps of energy burning & in burn." There is much that our curiosity hungers to consider about our tiny selves on this vast planet, Zamora posits, if we allow it to explore.
Tangles, Erasures, and Connections: ‘Of Form & Gather’ by Felicia Zamora
In the introduction to Felicia Zamora’s collection of new and selected poems, Of Form & Gather (62 pages; University of Notre Dame Press), Edwin Torres writes that “A poem’s burden is to live inside its creation, where the organized singularity of its gathering is what brings the reader to the reader’s own voice.” This is an accurate description of how Zamora’s poems work, and what they do to the reader. The book is divided into four sections, titled “circles & circulations,” “that that that; this this this,” “in in; gather gather,” and “To be out of- dually other.” Each section does exactly what the title of the book says, as they each play with form and formalistic elements while underlining the circular and repetitive nature of Zamora’s poetry and images.