For The City That Nearly Broke Me by Barbara Jane Reyes
Posted on July 23, 2012
Incantatory, gritty, at times heartbreaking, and, yes, celebratory, these poems are amulets for our broken world.
–R. Zamora Linmark, author of Drive-By Vigils and The Evolution of a Sigh.
In this fierce, feisty, anaphora-filled shakedown serenade, Reyes hard-scrambles our senses to position us firmly in poetry meant to electro-charge our attention real. This is a fine book of verse, reminiscent of Juan Felipe Herrera, yet singly Reyes. The supple lines ring endless rounds, bringing us bits of battle-singing and words wound true. Packs an amazing delivery and guarantees impact.
—Allison A. Hedge Coke, author of Dog Road Woman and Rock Ghost, Willow, Deer
Scribe of global soundscape, Reyes builds upon the heartbeat of literary and blood ancestors, feeding her “mythic thirst for home” as she journeys back to cities devastated and torn by the politics of race, history, class and sexuality, greeting her like an outsider. And still, despite the cities’ fall from grace, each gritty image, drawn on multiple languages and rhythms, is a love song, a reflection, a naming of the self. Bittersweet, powerful and precise, I adore this important book and the work of Barbara Jane Reyes.
—M. Evelina Galang, author of Her Wild American Self and One Tribe.
Barbara Jane Reyes was born in Manila, Philippines, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines and literary reviews, and she is the author of six books including Diwata (BOA Editions, Ltd., 2010), which was a finalist for the California Book Award, and Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish Press, 2005), which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets. She has taught at Mills College, and at University of San Francisco Philippine Studies Program, and is the Co-Editor of Doveglion Press.