Boomerang / Bumerán: Poetry / Poesía (Raised Voices) (Paperback)

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Boomerang / Bumerán: Poetry / Poesía (Raised Voices) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


This is an important book of poems. In the 3 part collection, we travel with Obejas through memory, sexuality, and observation of death. Each stop holds lessons for all people. The best poems always do. 

Since its inception, poetry had relied on and enforced binaries in gender, sexuality, and race. Romance languages have too. Not always with malicious intent, but still true. This said, Obejas does something rather incredible. She stretches the limits of Spanish and enlish, by stripping and reframing traditional binaries in poetry and language alike. She writes in her author's note that not all poems are stripped of binary pronouns and subjects "because some things still happen to us precisely because of gender, especially for women." Therefore Obejas, a queer Cuban-American writer, has created a necessary text; a (mostly) gender-free text, that reveals core elements of humanity. 

Achy Obejas lights a torch for writers and readers, BIPOC and allies alike, no matter what gender and orientation, to follow boldly into the night, as she throws her Bumeran scouting ahead. 

-Atticus

— From Staff Picks

This is an important book of poems. In the 3 part collection, we travel with Obejas through memory, sexuality, and observation of death. Each stop holds lessons for all people. The best poems always do. 

Since its inception, poetry had relied on and enforced binaries in gender, sexuality, and race. Romance languages have too. Not always with malicious intent, but still true. This said, Obejas does something rather incredible. She stretches the limits of Spanish and enlish, by stripping and reframing traditional binaries in poetry and language alike. She writes in her author's note that not all poems are stripped of binary pronouns and subjects "because some things still happen to us precisely because of gender, especially for women." Therefore Obejas, a queer Cuban-American writer, has created a necessary text; a (mostly) gender-free text, that reveals core elements of humanity. 

Achy Obejas lights a torch for writers and readers, BIPOC and allies alike, no matter what gender and orientation, to follow boldly into the night, as she throws her Bumeran scouting ahead. 

-Atticus

— From Atticus

A bilingual poetry collection from a Cuban-American writer-activist that explores themes of identity, sexuality, and belonging

A unique and inspiriting bilingual collection of lyrical poetry written in a bold, mostly gender-free English and Spanish that address immigration, displacement, love and activism.

The book is divided into 3 sections: First, poems addressing immigration and displacement; secondly, those addressing love, lost and found, and finally, verses focusing on action, on ways of addressing injustice and repairing the world. The volume will be both inspiration and support for readers living with marginalized identities and those who love and stand with them.
Achy Obejas is a Cuban-American writer, translator, and activist whose work focusing on personal and national identity has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Fifth Wednesday Journal, TriQuarterly, Another Chicago Magazine and many other publications. A native of Havana, she currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
Product Details ISBN: 9780807033395
ISBN-10: 0807033391
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publication Date: September 7th, 2021
Pages: 160
Language: English
Series: Raised Voices
“Achy Obejas’s Boomerang comes hurtling at you, maddening, sharp-edged, in wild, aerodynamic swerve across a ‘jeweled sea, flickering with caution,’ flung past limits of language, tragedy, history, to circle back through Ana Mendieta, José Martí, a synagogue in Pittsburgh . . . . There are far more than two sides to the dualities this work takes aim at with shattering skill.”
—Esther Allen, author of Your New Name

“Achy Obejas launches a boomerang into the future so it can come back with sacred news about the human condition.”
—Rita Indiana, author of Tentacle

“These poems ring like bells that toll for all we’ve lost, yet proclaim all we strive to reclaim; they sing like a choir of lyrical harmonies that praise yet lament heritage, sexuality, love, and language; they mesmerize us like meditations that transfix with the promise of ascension.”
—Richard Blanco, author of How to Love a Country

Boomerang is a dazzling, groundbreaking poetic and bi-linguistic achievement. It is inventively unlike anything I’ve ever read yet invokes the intense familiar: wonderment, heartbreak, pathos, and love.”
—Cristina García, author of Here in Berlin

“Like her outstanding novels and short stories, Achy Obejas’s Boomerang is a revelation of striking language authored anew in both English and Spanish. In this astounding and incantatory book, Obejas takes us on a journey through the ravages of the heart, via childhood, exile, lost loves, and, eventually, return. Boomerang is a profound and eloquent book filled with hard-earned beauty, wonder, and, ultimately, joy.”
—Edwidge Danticat, author of Everything Inside

“The much-needed hope that comes with love defines these poems, shapes their lush epiphanies, their celebration of beloveds of all sorts, not just humans but also political convictions and the wide ranging geographies of various cities. These are the poems that we need so much right now as they remind us about the transformative promise that manifests when we brush up against each other and the inclusive, generous world that can come out of those moments.”
—Juliana Spahr, author of Well Then There Now

“In these poems of ‘love in the time of . . . ,’ Achy Obejas is as consumed by the terrifying sensuality of love and the politics of bodies in intimate dialogue with each other as she is about ‘the time of . . .’ of war, of disenfranchisement, of violence, and of political instability. Boomerang/Bumerán is filled with elegant bilingual meditations that become defiant acts of protest against silencing and against the social and political pressure to deny our desire to feel fully and be deliciously alive in a troubled world.”
—Kwame Dawes, author of Nebraska