Unpeopled Eden

Unpeopled Eden

by Rigoberto Gonzaalez, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Rigoberto Gonz Lez
     
 

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Unpeopled Eden opens in Mictlán, the region of the dead in Aztec mythology, inviting us down into a world where “the men are never coming home” and “rows of ghosts come forth to sing.” Haunted by border crossers and forgotten deportees, lost brothers and sons, González unearths the beautiful and musical amidst the grotesque. These

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Overview

Unpeopled Eden opens in Mictlán, the region of the dead in Aztec mythology, inviting us down into a world where “the men are never coming home” and “rows of ghosts come forth to sing.” Haunted by border crossers and forgotten deportees, lost brothers and sons, González unearths the beautiful and musical amidst the grotesque. These poems are prayer and memorial “for those whose / patron saints are longing and despair.”

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/23/2013
The latest from the energetic and versatile Gonzalez (Black Blossoms) has a tight focus with potentially a broad appeal: its four long poems look hard at the victims and the antiheroes of the U.S.–Mexico border troubles, while shorter lyric poems, a verse-letter, and sharp experiments with nonhuman personae (a talking house in “Casa”; a Gila monster) look at other intimate, familial and political bonds. The title sequence reimagines the 1948 catastrophe made famous by Woody Guthrie’s “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportees),” looking at its traces on the landscape, at migration’s everyday carnage (“The lesson:/ if wounded, stay behind to die”) and at wider ironies: “The chain gang called upon to gather/ the debris sang the Prison Blues/ all afternoon.” The poems “In the Village of Missing Fathers” and “In the Village of Missing Sons” consider interrupted generations with unmistakable reference to current events: “That’s life/ in the village without handsome/ men… Some say/ they journey North to waste/ their days as kitchen slaves.” Gonzalez, also a prolific critic, memoirist, and writer for the young, sets big goals here, including formal variety. He also never limits himself to one subject, working hard to let in all the readers he can. (Oct.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935536369
Publisher:
Four Way Books
Publication date:
10/01/2013
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
84
Sales rank:
1,153,222
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)

What People are saying about this

Juan Felipe Herrera
“I marvel at Rigoberto’s groundbreaking new poetics—a rare, raw, lyrical, surreal, fearless, piercing tour de force.”

Meet the Author

RIGOBERTO GONZÁLEZ is the author of three previous books of poems, among other publications, teaches at Rutgers-Newark, and lives in Queens.

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