Trauma takes up real space within us, and it can be so difficult to hold. How do we access that place of longing and loss, of fragmented memory and grief? How do we carry it as we walk in the world? There’s no map for this, no clear path through the internal landscape it reshapes, no easy way to make meaning of our lives in that disoriented state. Mariella Saavedra Carquin confronts hard truths in this powerful debut collection, pushing through layered complexities of immigration, race, and identity to find a way forward.
Poetry. Latinx Studies, Women's Studies.
“Ruby Sales, civil rights activist, once explained that when she walks into a conflict situation where voices are loud with anger and violence is imminent, the first thing she asks is, ‘Where does it hurt?’ The poems in Mariella Saavedra Carquin’s MAPS YOU CAN’T MAKE ask that question and explore those hurting places both internally in each of us and externally in the world, spaces where healing and wholeness need to happen. Saavedra Carquin’s voice is both bold and tender, lyrical and penetrating. Here is a poet who does not turn away from what needs to be seen and named in order to be transformed. These skilled and stunningly prescient poems accompany us on journeys to the uncharted and often marginalized parts of our world, refusing the perch of privilege of the one who glibly knows. We are in discovery mode, unafraid because we have her words to hold and the promise that there are rerootings but only if we acknowledge the uprootings of loss and exile, identities, loved ones and homes. The ending of her poem ‘We Carry It’ fittingly describes what this collection accomplishes: each poem bursts us open and empties its glitter over everything. Even without a map, we know a way forward.” —Julia Alvarez, poet, essayist, and novelist
“Poetry for me is all in the style and texture of the writing—Mariella Saavedra Carquin’s writing holds our hands & stares us in the soul & cries with us too. These are poems that make music of our grief and perseverance. Read along to sing along: Mariella Saavedra Carquin is making maps & language out of the unnameable truths of our lives.” —José Olivarez, author of Promises of Gold
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Mariella Saavedra Carquin is a graduate of Middlebury College, holds an EdM and an MA in psychological counseling from Columbia University, and recently earned an MA from Middlebury's Bread Loaf School of English. She is a licensed mental health counselor who has practiced in clinical, higher education, and middle school settings and published in academic journals on the psychological impact of microaggressions experienced by undocumented immigrant youth. Born in Peru and raised in Miami, she currently lives in Colorado.