Pivotal Voices, Era of Transition

Pivotal Voices, Era of Transition : Toward a 21st Century Poetics

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Pivotal Voices, Era of Transition gathers Rigoberto Gonzalez's most important essays and book reviews that consider the work of emerging poets whose identities and political positions are transforming what readers expect from contemporary poetry. Many of these voices represent intersectional communities, such as queer writers of color like Natalie Diaz, Danez Smith, Ocean Vuong, and Eduardo C. Corral, and many writers, such as Carmen Gimenez Smith and David Tomas Martinez, have deep connections to their Latino communities. Collectively these writers are enriching American poetry to reflect a more diverse, panoramic, and socially conscious literary landscape. This much needed look at diverse voices also features essays on the poets' literary ancestors including Juan Felipe Herrera, Alurista, Francisco X. Alarcon, and speeches that address the need for poetry as agency.

This book fills a glaring gap in contemporary literary scholarship. Very little existing poetry scholarship focuses exclusively on writers of color, particularly Latino poetry - a field in which Gonzalez is considered an authority. The book makes important observations about the relevance and urgency of the work coming from writers representing marginalized communities, many of whom will undoubtedly become the most influential voices of their generation. Gonzalez is the first to identity them as such and to illustrate why their work is as exquisitely crafted as it is socially resonant. He also makes important connections between the Latino, African American, Asian American and Native American literatures by positioning them as a collective movement critiquing, challenging, and reorienting the direction of American poetry with their nuanced and politicized verse. Gonzalez's inclusive vision covers a wide landscape of writers, opening literary doors for sexual and ethnic minorities.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 248 pages
  • 137 x 203 x 17.78mm | 294.84g
  • Ann Arbor, United States
  • English
  • 0472036971
  • 9780472036974

About Rigoberto Gonzalez

Rigoberto Gonz lez is professor of English at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. He is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Unpeopled Eden, which won the Lambda Literary Award and the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Additionally, he has published children's books, fiction, and nonfiction, including Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, which received the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Among many honors, he has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA, the Poetry Society of America's Shelley Memorial Award, and the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Publishing Triangle. In 2017, Gonz lez was selected as the inaugural Stan Rubin Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the Rainier Writing Workshop and as the Reid Writer at Fordham University for the 2017-2018 academic year.
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