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Poetry. Latinx Studies.
“A demonic excavation of self and world, THE DEVIL'S WORKSHOP finds its lifeblood in the throes of exorcism, modeling an antidote to the paths of redemption and respectability politics. Performed by the mother figure who speaks in tongues, spiritual purge becomes synonymous with writing when it renders the poet’s body ‘amplified and released,’ disintegrating the very word in lines that blow up in the middle of the book. If it is a relief to get lost in Xavier Cavazos’ drug-fueled hauntings—to wander through his meditations on race, sex, and Gringolandia—it is because I am starved for poetry this full-throated and blasphemously aware.” —Lucas De Lima
“Cavazos’ super-poet power is the ability to hold all the shapes a mind and heart can inhabit—from fantastic to frightening, loving to longing, nightmare to dream. The poems in The Devil’s Workshop move like restless octopuses—casting lines across pages then squeezing through a crack of light—letter by letter, drop by drop. This book is at once a dance, a swan dive, a eulogy, and a séance calling the Spirits of Multi-perversions back home again.” —Jennifer L. Knox
“THE DEVIL'S WORKSHOP evades the single story of trauma caused by substance disorder. In Cavazos’ poems, all the slung arrows have been dipped in profound love, reflection, and form. Immerse yourself in the sizzle of Cavazos’ vision as he forces you into a confrontation with your demons. If you booked a reservation to the Inferno, consider yourself lucky to have Cavazos as your guide.” —Willie Perdomo
“Bearing brute force, THE DEVIL'S WORKSHOP renders ritual as unfurling rhizome, drip by drip, as testament deciphers blood. In the gleaming switchblade of hallucinated rebirths, Cavazos knows the low is visceral. Sub-totems of creatured selves appear as animal-entrail-son-demon, ‘My daddy was a full-of-disaster amigo-amigo.’ This book takes a plunge through the unbreakable acts of our human constraints for a chance at healing through poetry’s darkness.” —Edwin Torres
“Xavier Cavazos is one of poetry’s great treasures! There is a magical wave waiting for us to ride in this book! ‘An electrical shock hit my mouth like jumpstart.’ If poetry that hits the heart with accuracy is what you are looking for, THE DEVIL'S WORKSHOP will sing you to the singed edges of the world.” —CAConrad
Reading of Poems @ Picture of PoetsAuthor Bio @ Poetry Foundation
Xavier Cavazos is a performance artist, grand slam champion of the NuYoRican Poets Cafe, and member of three national poetry slam teams. His previous collections are Barbarian at the Gate (The Poetry Society of America, 2014) and Diamond Grove Slave Tree (Ice Cube Press, 2015). Cavazos is a senior poetry editor for Poetry Northwest, directs the Liberal Studies Program at Central Washington University, and serves on the board of trustees for Humanities Washington.