CITY WITHOUT ALTAR is a poetry collection and play in verse that explores what it means to live, love, heal and experience violence as a Black person in the world. The titular play in verse that sits at the center of the book seeks to amplify the voices and experiences of victims, survivors and living ancestors of the 1937 Haitian Massacre that occurred along the northwest Dominican/Haitian border during the Trujillo Era. Between the scenes of the play are “interludes” that explore a different kind of “cutting” and what it means to feel othered because of illness, disability and blackness. Ultimately, Machete is a meditation on being/feeling “blacked out” by the archive, on the world stage and in one’s daily life.
Poetry. Drama. African & African American Studies. Latinx Studies. Women’s Studies.
Jasminne Mendez is a Dominican-American poet, playwright, educator and award-winning author. Mendez has had poetry and essays published by The Acentos Review, The New England Review, Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, and others. She is an alumni of the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University and the author of two poetry/prose collections Island of Dreams(Floricanto Press, 2013) and Night-Blooming Jasmin(n)e: Personal Essays and Poetry(Arte Publico Press, 2018), and one children's picture book Josefina's Habichuelas (Arte Publico Press, 2021) She lives and works in Houston, TX with her partner in poetry and in life Lupe Mendez and their daughter Luz Maria.