Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. California Interest. Latinx Studies. SUSSUROS A MI PADRE represents Erick Sáenz's efforts to connect language and culture, family and loss. The book charts the author's fractured relationship with his father: a man whose Mexican blood he inherited. Sáenz collages memories, first-hand accounts, and interviews related to his Latinx identity in an effort to resurrect the culture that alludes him. From Los Angeles to San Jose, this is his journey to redefine himself.
"Susurros como vientos del Mar: Sáenz's SUSSUROS A MI PADRE, is a glowing debut. These poems shine with a quartzite clarity that guides the reader through vital fronteras of Latinx experience. Weaving together a polyvocal lyric of familial inquiry, Sáenz's poetry is a refreshing, reinvigorating looking at a Latinx narrative that so many live, and yet so few ever read about. May this Poet's ocean of language change that tide."—Angel Dominguez
"Let this book show you an interrogation and migration of story, where story is made of secrets: from Monterrey to Los Angeles to San José and back; through wanting to know one's father, and ultimately, oneself. In this candid, real-time narrative, Erick Sáenz sits with the discomfort and mystery of words in Spanish and English that [pass time], where time is a summation of moments, questions, memories; and where passing is actively standing watch at a life that’s yours. Call it disenfranchised grief—or listen when he asks, 'What is it like growing up landlocked?'—or when he affects, 'Este es mi elogia, papi' with the crushing beauty of a confession. Sáenz writes fatherlessness, restlessness, and distance and othering as double consciousness. This story is a slow, heartfelt corrido unveiling the poetics of loss."—Janice Sapigao
"At birth, the left hemisphere of our brains registers the difference between speech and noise. Even before an infant begins to babble, the brain has built a map for language. We know this because of brain-imaging, which, in some cases, illuminates the firing of synapses by placing them on a topographic plane. When reading Sáenz's text, my experience is akin to being on this plane, where the electrical eruptions are both beautiful and violent, but invited and significant. I experience linguistic ruptures. And while I am asked to return to past memories, to photographs, voices recollected, all the while negotiating a narrative that won’t be easily pieced back together, I see the importance of a text such as this as an utterance I both need and recognize. Needless to say, this text is incredible."—Lisa Donovan
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Erick Sáenz is a 1st generation Latinx writer and English teacher from Los Angeles. He is the founding editor of Lilac Press, a small DIY imprint. He was previously a contributing editor for the online place-based magazine Cheers from the Wasteland. In addition to several self-published chapbooks and zines, his writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Entropy, Alien Mouth, Elderly Magazine, Pinball, Hobart Pulp, Five:2:One Magazine, and others. SUSURROS A MI PADRE (The Operating System, 2018) is his first book.Author City: LOS ANGELES, CA USA