AND SUDDENLY I WAS JUST DANCING collects poetry by Tilsa Otta (Lima, 1982) in a chapbook of gender-defiant, carnal movement. The rhythm of perreo carries us into an anticolonial space of sensual and sexual liberation which pushes against binaries and towards multiplicity. Curating a collective of spiritual proportions, Otta’s 'New Heaven' is boisterous and honest, zany and earnest, queer and color filled.
Part of the Cartonera Collective Series, these books include a letterpress cover and are made by hand in community workshops, using sewn binding with recycled cardboard.
“Tilsa Otta is one of my favorite poets, and Honora Spicer’s translations capture what is luminous about Otta’s work. This collection is nocturnal punk graffiti. She manages to make a voice that’s a little IDGAF, a little mystical into a hypnotic pulse radiating out like a bat signal in the shape of her girlfriend’s puppy. And Suddenly I Was Just Dancing is the balm for your mercury in retrograde. Bring your satellite.” ―Carmen Giménez Smith
“x+x+x+, which is to say, the ‘x’ that in Spanish marks out the gender binary can wheel, in Honora Spicer’s translations as much as in Tilsa Otta’s poems, into the ‘+’ of possibility, the unapologetic celebration of appetite, savoring the spit we share in articulating the more that is already here. These are poems that call us into the ‘wild lyceum’ where our gorgeous animality tunes its collective attention to the elegance of its own music. Otta and Spicer lead us in a ‘dance / supposedly obscene / that assures / Humanity’s continuance,’ which is to say x+x+x+” ―Farid Matuk
“Tilsa Otta has quickly, and with good reason, become recognized as one of the leading voices of new Latin American writing. From novels to poems, her work is always charged with a tender, cosmic, and electrically personal take on life. I would say that Tilsa is a shooting star, for the energy of her ascent in Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Bolivia, and Spain, but there’s nothing fleeting about the light she emits. Tilsa’s star is here to stay, shining at last over the English-speaking world in Honora Spicer’s translation. So, look up, take it in, and don't forget to make a wish: her poems have been known to make even the wildest ones come true.” ―Kit Schluter
Poetry. Latinx Studies. LGBTQ+ Studies. Women's Studies.
Tilsa Otta Vildoso is an audiovisual artist and writer. She has published four books of poetry, a book of short stories, a children's poetry book, and a comic. Her most recent publication is the novel Lxs niñxs de oro de la alquimia sexual (Penguin Random House). She creates experimental and fictional films and leads poetry workshops for adults and children.
Honora Spicer is a writer and experiential educator. Her documentary poetry and literary translations from Spanish have appeared in The Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-day, Tripwire, Asymptote, Latin American Literature Today, World Literature Today, Action Books, and elsewhere.