by Valerie Martinez
In 2004 twenty-eight women and young girls were murdered in Ciudad Juárez and the surrounding areas. The tragedy escalated to fifty-eight murders in 2006, then again to eighty-six in 2008, and current estimates top four hundred deaths. Now poet Valerie Martínez offers a poetic exploration of these events, pushing boundaries—stylistically and artistically—with vivid poems that contextualize femicide.
Martínez departs from traditional narrative to reveal the hidden effects and outcomes of the horrific and heart-wrenching cases of femicide. These poems—lyric fragments and prose passages that form a collage—have an intricate relation to one another, creating a complex literary quilt that feels like it can be read from the beginning, the end, or anywhere in between. Martínez is personally invested in the topic, evoking the loss of her sister, and Each and Her emerges as a biography of sorts and a compelling homage to all those who have suffered. Other authors may elaborate on or investigate this topic, but Martínez humanizes it by including names, quotations, realistic details, and stark imagery.
The women of Juárez, like other women around the world, are ravaged by inequality, discontinuity, politics, and economic plagues that contribute to gender violence. Martínez offers us a poignant and alarming glance into another world with these never-before-told stories. Her refreshing and explosive voice will keep readers transfixed and intrigued about these events and emotions—removed from us and yet so close to the heart.
Each and Her
Valerie Martinez (b. 1961) is a poet, teacher, translator, playwright, librettist, editor and collaborative artist. Her first book of poetry, Absence, Luminescent (Four Way Books 1999 & 2010), won the Larry Levis Prize and a Greenwall Grant from the Academy of American Poets after being a finalist in the Walt Whitman, National Poetry Series, and Intro Award competitions. Her second book, World to World, was published by the University of Arizona Press in 2004. Martinez's translations of the poetry of Uruguay's Delmira Agustini (1886-1914), A Flock of Scarlet Doves, was published in special edition by Sutton Hoo Press in 2005 and a book-length poem, Each and Her, is forthcoming from the University of Arizona Press in the fall of 2010. Her collection of Santa Fe poems (written during her tenure as Poet Laureate of Santa Fe), And They Called it Horizon, will also be published in 2010
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 9/15/2010
Series: Camino del Sol Pages: 96
- Poetry | American | Hispanic American - Cultural Region | Latin America