Literary Nonfiction. Poetry. Art. Latinx Studies. STILL NOWHERE IN AN EMPTY VASTNESS is a collection of essays and manifestos engaging hemispheric desires and borderland eventualities in the geopolitical imagination of the Americas. The book enlivens a capacious Latinx poetics, spanning to include 16th- and 17th-century imperial accounts, 20th-century images of Mexico pictured by U.S. artists and writers, the neo-baroque pageantry of José Lezama Lima in post-Revolution Havana, as well as contemporary poets Reina María Rodriguez, from Cuba; Mexican fabulist Pablo Helguera; and Chicano multimedia wordsmith Harry Gamboa Jr., from Los Angeles. Explored also are many-sided masculinities, from conquistador castaway Cabeza de Vaca, stripped and disempowered in the New World; Lezama Lima's "prison baroque" of syntactically queer desire; George Oppen's craftsmanship manhood; Jay Wright's Yoruba and Toltec body-doubles, hidden figures of exile and self-foreignness; and the man-child constructed in the media spectacle of modern castaway Elián González. These essays configure a poetics of the Americas, mirror-occasions for reflecting the fear and fantasies prompted by metaphors of occupation, displacement, and counter-conquest.
Roberto Tejada is author of the poetry collections Full Foreground (2012), Exposition Park (2010), and MIRRORS FOR GOLD (2006). He founded and co-edited Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas, a journal of poetics and poetry in translation (1991-2014). An art historian, his books include National Camera: Photography and Mexico's Image Environment (2009); a monograph on pioneering Chicana conceptual artist Celia Alvarez Muñoz (2009), and diverse writings on Latin American and Latinx artists. He is the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished Professor at the University of Houston, where he teaches in the Creative Writing Program and Art History Department. Author City: DALLAS, TX USA