“To read these poems is to be reminded again and again of our true allegiance to each other.” —Julia Alvarez
With a powerful and poignant introduction from Julia Alvarez, Resistencia: Poems of Protest and Revolution is an extraordinary collection, rooted in a strong tradition of protest poetry and voiced by icons of the movement from the beginning of the 20th Century and by some of the most exciting voices today. Formally dexterous and emotionally wide-ranging in their work, the poets of Resistencia bring feminist, queer, indigenous, urban, and ecological themes to the fore alongside historically prominent protests against imperialism, dictatorships, and economic inequality. Within this momentous collection, poets representing every Latin American country grapple with identity, place, and belonging, resisting easy definitions to render a nuanced and complex portrait of language in rebellion.
Included in English translation alongside their original language, the poems in Resistencia are a testament to the art of translation as much as the act of resistance. An all-star team of translators, including US Poet Laureate emeritus Juan Felipe Herrera, along with young, emerging talent, have made many of the poems available for the first time to an English-speaking audience, broadening their reach and asking the reader to consider their messages in the context of our current moment: one where marginalized voices remain under constant threat, and speaking out is imperative. Urgent, timely, and absolutely essential, these poets inspire us all to embrace our most fearless selves and unite against all forms of tyranny and oppression.
Resistencia could not be more timely. It is a stunning collection of revelations and witness. . . . Indispensable.
— Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The House of Broken Angels
I read Resistencia: Poems of Protest and Revolution in one sitting, rather breathlessly, and the idea that chimed in my head for hours and days after was the idea of poems as pledges of allegiance. Each electric poem in this anthology asks—and, in its own way, answers—what we owe to one another, how we might survive these times physically and psychically, and what poems can do in the face of so much suffering. The poems in Resistencia do not soothe but shake us awake, and they call onus to do what they have done: to witness, to listen, to not only speak but sing.
— Maggie Smith, author of Good Bones
This anthology is, as one of its poets declares, ‘an intimate liberation.’ Intimate as only poetry can be—an urgent, revealing exchange between poem and reader. A liberation because behind every beautiful image is fortifying and incandescent anger. Poetry is the most graceful of weapons, one that is freely given and never loses its power. Reading these poems, I felt as if this brilliant chorus of writers, living and departed, was delivering a call to action: ‘We have been here all along, fighting. Won’t you join us?’ — Frances de Pontes Peebles, author of The Air You Breathe
Depending upon your horse on the carousel, art and resistance, are created for their own sake, meaning that it’s not about a successful creation but the actual act of creating. Process over results is another form of 'L’arte pour L’arte.' Art at its best art not be about resistance yet it must resist something. In writing we call this tension. Resistencia resists being an easy Latinx experience. While many of these poems are about war and pain, it would be a disservice to characterize them solely as melancholic. Even surrounded in death and destruction, there is a vibrancy in the lines. There is joy. There is living. Beauty’s put forward bravely. In this anthology, Tina Escaja and Mark Eisner apply poems from not only trusted canonical voices but also from new and exciting poets who are writing in a myriad of languages. In poem after poem an effusive orgullo in an ancient American culture becomes the true overarching theme of this impressively encapsulating anthology.
— David Tomas Martinez, author of Post Traumatic Hood Disorder