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Praise for Pulp
"Celina Villagarcia’s smart, sharp poetry collection, PULP, is as strong and bodacious as her popping- monosyllabic title suggests. Villagarcia writes between many borders, carrying a grafted-Latina-resonance, proud and strong, and a wise learning having lived what seems more than a few lifetimes. Her wisdom, wit, and her rich Mexican heritage, call up, for me, more than often, a Cisneros-like voice. Her work often carries us back to both her and our antepasados, the wise women of knowing, the magic and myth of the feminine spirit which she embodies, herself, as— mother, lover (in the space of her own marriage), and wife—work pregnant with the loving of a houseful of children, at one point, arms full of the child she carries up a stairwell to sleep after a long day of learning; arms, always full of knowing. This collection is gutsy and steeped in living: sometimes a present stirring, and sometimes, a retrospective of geographies from here to there, and the varied tongues she speaks in, languages she lives among".
Marian Haddad, author of Wildflower. Stone. and Somewhere between Mexico and a River Called Home
"Celina Villagarcía's book of poems smells of fresh earth, of baby skin, of a loved one who gives meaning to one's existence, and of oleanders, maíz, and caramelo children. Her subtle lines are a distillation of a lifetime, born in the valley and flung a thousand miles away, always searching for home, wielding her pen. The poet knows herself vulnerable from a young age, like walking without skin, and later finds that "these words give me skin. Villagarcía's book takes us deep into the matrix of life."
Liliana Valenzuela, acclaimed Spanish translator and author of Codex of Journeys: Bendito Camino
"These poems testify to the power of words to embody an entire world in a small space. They illuminate the distance between one’s desires and the reality of living in all kinds of borderlands. Inspired by her own rich domestic space, Celina Villagarcia creates imaginative poems of love. Her vision of the largeness and small satisfactions of motherhood is compelling, and the love poems for the man in her life are beautifully fresh: “My hundred years are sacred cows/wandering/in your pasture”! The best of these are so passionate they feel like incantations. But this writer’s world ranges far. She examines life as an artist, where “words give me skin” and the complexities of claiming a political identity as a girl, a woman, a Chicana strong enough to bear the weight of that lineage of women into the future. Read this collection and fall in love with the sweet spirit and large power of Celina Villagarcia".
Mariana Aitches, author of Fishing for Light and Ours is a Flower
"Villagarcia's first book, Pulp, is in many ways a collection of love poems--love of her husband, her children, her roots. Writing about family--immediate and extended--she searches for that elusive place called home, arriving again and again in heartfelt and poignant poems that prove she is already there".
Scott Wiggerman, author of Presence, chief editor of the Texas Poetry Calendar