Poetry. Latinx Studies. Set along the U.S.-Mexican border, CEREMONY OF SAND is an examination of hiddenness, of those things the borderlands want kept secret, of the banal violence that is both internally created and forced upon it. The collection exposes the futility of naming the borderlands as one particular type of place and tackles the complexity of its inhabitants, their contradictions, their language, and their failures. In poems both fatalistic and deeply hopeful, CEREMONY OF SAND serves as witness as it also addresses the complexity of developing a language of unique personhood while living inside a culture that expects recapitulation of its own aesthetics and beliefs.
Rodney Gomez is the author of CEREMONY OF SAND (YesYes Books, 2019), Citizens of the Mausoleum (Sundress Publications, 2018), and three chapbooks. His work appears in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, The Gettysburg Review, Blackbird, Denver Quarterly, Pleiades, and other journals. He is the recipient of the Drinking Gourd Prize from Northwestern University, the Rhino Editors' Prize, the Orison Anthology Award, and the Gloria Anzaldúa Poetry Prize. He is the son of migrant farm workers and the first in his family to attend college. A proud member of the Macondo Writers' Workshop and the Chocholichex writing collective, he earned a BA from Yale, an MA in philosophy from Arizona State University, and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Texas-Pan American. He edits Our Serpents' Tongue, a chapbook accompanying El Retorno, an annual symposium honoring Gloria Anzaldúa. He is an editor at Latino Book Review and works at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. In 2020 he will serve as the Poet Laureate of the city of McAllen, Texas.Author City: BROWNSVILLE, TX USA