Dedicated and addressed to the poet’s grandfather, A Crown for Gumecindo is a heroic crown of sonnets that chronicles the first year of grief experienced due to the loss of the family patriarch. Through 15 linked sonnets, journal entries, and meditations, Guerrero reexamines the lessons she inherited, both intentionally and unintentionally, through the careful dissecting of the multigenerational, multilingual, and multifaceted male-female relationship. Also examining the role of the writer, Guerrero draws upon various histories—personal, social, literary—in order to expose the uncertainties encountered in a time of mourning. Visual artist and poet Maceo Montoya also draws upon his histories, contributing 15 paintings inspired by Guerrero’s sonnets that offer readers a layered experience of the tender and often shocking revelations of grief.
Laurie Ann Guerrero was born and raised in the Southside of San Antonio, Texas and was named Poet Laureate of the City of San Antonio in 2014 by former mayor, Julián Castro. Her first full-length collection, A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying, was selected by Francisco X. Alarcón as winner of the 2012 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize and published by the University of Notre Dame Press in 2013. Guerrero holds a B.A. in English Language & Literature from Smith College and an MFA in Poetry from Drew University. She is the inaugural Poet-in-Residence at Palo Alto College in San Antonio and continues to live and write in her hometown.