INCANTATION: LOVE POEMS FOR BATTLE SITES is a Chicana's witness to the American ethos in a time marked by controversy, division, and transformation. Bermejo delves into the heart of the matter, contemplating the significance of US monuments as both symbols of history and battlegrounds for ideological strife, and imparts a compassionate ear to the marginalized, memorializing the lives of Black and brown individuals whose lives were cut short by state-sanctioned violence.
But Bermejo's poetry also brims with love, passion, and determination to resist the prevailing chaos. Amidst the chaos, she crafts love poems celebrating the bonds of family, the strength of friendships, and the allure of defiance. This collection dances like flames in rituals of resistance and resilience, illuminating paths toward a future unburdened by the shackles of misogyny and white supremacy.
Poetry. Latinx Studies.
”Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo's INCANTATION is a cultural and personal history. A dazzling and provocative second collection that entices readers with its playfulness in language and spirit as it moves from internal to external concerns about fear and chaos. At times reflective in poems like ‘Battlegrounds,’ ‘The Way Men Use Me,’ or ‘Comfort Food for White Spaces.’ Each section engages with a mix of conventional and unconventional diction and syntax that is melodic and mesmerizing, including concrete poems that dance playfully across the page in shapes and forms like couplets, prose poetry, and tercets. There are moments of resilience urging readers to confront injustices and strive for a better world. These poems will entice you to return, leaving you with ‘something to savor’ every time.” – Ruben Quesada, editor of Latinx Poetics: Essays on the Art of Poetry, author of Revelations
”Bermejo's poems are sensuous, sensual offerings for a tender self that rails against the ragged world. Each is a container crafted to hold the raw yearnings of a body that lives and witnesses state violences against BIPOC, female, and undocumented bodies. INCANTATION do more than conjure hope for a vague future, they demand accountability and enact the healing we need now.” – Carribean Fragoza, author of Eat the Mouth That Feeds You
”INCANTATION marks the resting place of the dead and slaughtered, but also celebrates the living and clairvoyant. Combining elements of identity, place, research, and home, Bermejo disrupts our dismissal of political poetry; she enlivens language to challenge our complacency and expose our ennui to coax us all to hold on to one another for dear life.” – Monica Prince, author of Roadmap: A Choreopoem
Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo is the daughter of Mexican immigrants and author of Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge (Sundress Publications) and Incantation: Love Poems for Battle Sites (Mouthfeel Press). A former Steinbeck Fellow and Poets & Writers California Writers Exchange winner, she's received residencies from Hedgebrook, Ragdale, Yefe Nof, and the National Parks Arts Foundation in partnership with the Gettysburg National Military Park and Poetry Foundation. Her poem "Battlegrounds" was featured at Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day, On Being's Poetry Unbound, and the anthology, Poetry Unbound: 50 Poems to Open Your World (W.W. Norton). Her poetry can be found at Acentos Review, Huizache, Santa Fe Writers Project, and other journals. She teaches poetry and creative writing with Antioch University, MFA and UCLA Extension and is the director of Women Who Submit, a nonprofit organization empowering woman-identifying and nonbinary writers to submit work for literary publication. Inspired by her Chicana identity, she works to cultivate love and comfort in chaotic times.