My People Redux by Angela Trudell Vasquez
From Finishing Line Press:
My People Redux is a masterful assemblage of image, lyric, and narrative that honors land and lineage. Through dazzling delineations of domesticity and class struggle, Trudell Vasquez contends with generational hardships immigrant families face in making a life in America. These poems are brimming with craft and compassion.
–Santee Frazier, Author of Aurum
Vasquez’s poems are touchstones of the heart. These are poems steeped in the subtextual energy of generational strength, rising toward the light of hope like a whale breaching—the head first leap and the consequential splash—that moment when past, present, and future converge, pulling fragments of experience into a permanent oneness of being.
–Judy Wilson, Editor of Yellow Medicine Reviewand Author of Trespass and other stories
In My People Redux, Angela Trudell Vasquez creates in vivid images and musical language a world where children “cycle, talk, sing—” run, dangle from tree limbs, hunt, peer, trample, and search. In their joyful activity they realize, “This is where my power / started flowing.” It is not a trouble-free world. Children played in the DDT- laced cornfields; refugees are turned away at the border. Sometimes a person “crawls to the finish line.” But it is also a world where “Everybody is somebody’s child” and there are people “who will throw open their doors/ and let them in, let them in.” It is also a world where “pen can tap into my brain, // reveal what is hiding, // not to court friends or foes, // but to keep from disappearing. In these compelling poems, Vasquez welcomes us to recover with her what the great grandfather knew, “the original place of green grace.”
–Margaret Rozga, author of Holding My Selves Together, New & Selected Poems and 2019-2020 Wisconsin Poet Laureate
My People Redux, by Angie Trudell Vasquez, springs and bounces with the joys of children, the tenacity of courageous women, and the struggles of Latinos. Spare but vivid, her language grips you, and her stories grab you. In “Blizzard,” for instance, you can feel her knuckles ache as she hangs onto the wheel. Throughout she gives meaning to poetry: “poetry props spine.” And in “Epilogue,” she spells out more reasons for why she writes poems. Here’s one: “to save myself from/falling into the abyss of busyness.” So much to relish and to ruminate on in this wonderful collection!
–Matthew Rothschild, Executive Director of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign and author of 12 Ways to Save Democracy in Wisconsin