Paperback. The University of Arizona Press (2013)
Adding to the Latina tradition, Carmen Giménez Smith, politically aware and feminist-oriented, focuses on general cultural references rather than a sentimental personal narrative. She speaks of sexual politics and family in a fierce, determined tone voracious in its opinions about freedom and responsibility.
The author engages in mythology and art history, musically wooing the reader with texture and voice. As she references such disparate cultural figures as filmmaker Lars Von Trier, Annie from the film Annie Get Your Gun, Nabokov's Lolita, facebook entries and Greek gods, they appear as part of the poet's cultural critique.
Phrases such as "the caustic domain of urchins" and "the gelatin shiver of tea's surface" take the poems from lyrical images to comic humor to angry, intense commentary. On writing about "downgrading into human," she says, "Then what? Amorality, osteoporosis and not even a marble estuary for the ages."
Giménez Smith's poetic arsenal includes rapier-sharp wordplay mixed with humor, at times self-deprecating, at others an ironic comment on the postmodern world, all interwoven with imaginative language of unexpected force and surreal beauty. Revealing a long view of gender issues and civil rights, the author presents a clever, comic perspective. Her poems take the reader to unusual places as she uses rhythm, images, and emotion to reveal the narrator's personality. Deftly blending a variety of tones and styles, Giménez Smith's poems offer a daring and evocative look at deep cultural issues.
About the Author
Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of a memoir, Bring Down the Little Birds(University of Arizona, 2010), three poetry collections—Goodbye, Flicker(University of Massachusetts, 2012), The City She Was (Center for Literary Publishing, 2011) and Odalisque in Pieces (University of Arizona, 2009)—and three poetry chapbooks—Reason's Monsters (Dusie Kollectiv, 2011), Can We Talk Here (Belladonna Books, 2011) and Glitch (Dusie Kollectiv, 2009). She has also co-edited a fiction anthology, My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me (Penguin, 2010). She is the recipient of a 2011 American Book Award, the 2011 Juniper Prize for Poetry, and a 2011-2012 fellowship in creative nonfiction from the Howard Foundation. Formerly a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she now teaches in the creative writing programs at New Mexico State University and Ashland University, while serving as the editor-in-chief of the literary journal Puerto del Sol and the publisher of Noemi Press. She lives with her husband, the writer Evan Lavender-Smith, and their two children in Las Cruces, New Mexico.