From Electric Lit:
[T]he first five books I’ve published have all been my attempt to answer that question: how do we endure?
No surprise, The Book of Job has always been my favorite part of the Bible. That tale of one man with a mountain of misfortune heaped upon him is one of the presiding spirits of my book. The epigraph of Machete is the old Spanish proverb, “Dios apriete, pero no ahorca.” While the English equivalent is “God never gives you more than you can handle,” my literal translation strikes a different note: “God squeezes, but He doesn’t strangle.” As a survivor of childhood trauma, this question has been at the center of my art from day one. Not surprisingly, as a reader I’m drawn to books about survival in all its many forms. Here are a few books that kept me company while I wrote Machete, and a few that have made it onto my nightstand recently.
Lima::Limón by Natalie Scenters-Zapico
The poems of this collection chart how women navigate the violent waters of machismo without drowning. While she writes about women along the U.S. border with Mexico, these women could have just as easily been from my South Texas hometown. How these women find ways to thrive, and not merely survive, is nothing short of heroic.
. . . .
The Life by Carrie Fountain
In “Time to be the fine line of light,” Fountain writes:
“There are so many things
that destroy. To think solely of them
is as foolish and expedient as not
thinking of them at all.”
While one could say the backdrop of these wise, muscular poems is the Trump presidency and the pandemic, the way they examine parenting small children during times of great upheaval is timeless.
Link to the rest at Electric Lit