Things to Pack on the Way to Everywhere (Paperback) (Word Up)

Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta
About The Author: 
Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta is an associate professor at the City University of New York-BCC. Her first book of poetry, Things to Pack on the Way to Everywhere, is an Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize finalist and now available from Get Fresh Books. Recent work can be found in Best American Poetry, The Baffler, Acentos Journal, Kweli Journal, Red Fez, Gathering of the Tribes Magazine, Split this Rock, Paterson Literary Review, and Celebrating Twenty Years of Black Girlhood: The Lauryn Hill Reader. She is a Geraldine Dodge Foundation Poet, a Macondo Fellow, and the editor of Latina Outsiders Remaking Latina Identity, an anthology that features over Latinx 30 contributors and subjects. 


PRE-ORDER: Things to Pack on the Way to Everywhere

Things to Pack on the Way to Everywhere, by Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta, is a blueprint for Afro-Latinx adventurers who want to keep their sanity in a world that does not value the history or contributions of Black/Latinx women. The author shares moments of despair, anger, elation, joy, and love, as she pieces together her history and ancestry, while finding catharsis through Black punk revolutionaries like Poly Styrene and the Chicago House movement. Follow her journey toward empowerment while fighting sexism and neoliberalism in the medical industry, academia, and in a world-wide pandemic. Watch as she decides that we all have time for self-care and dance, even as the world descends into chaos.  

Dr. Grisel Y. Acosta’s poems, “dark and precise like Borges Laberintos” are acutely aware of their punk and piercing powers. Such poems shriek fearlessly in black-lipsticked memory, and shine in their freakish dancing where chicas must always be "fighting for the ownership of our lives." Here you will find poetry that insists on schooling readers about a distinct kind of education and memory in relation to the creation of Acosta’s identity. Acosta’s poetry insists her readers bring new eyes, new hands, new minds, new anthems, and new music that is necessary and marvelous for its own sake, for its own wounds, and its own dreaming of dark and light. One of Acosta’s many strengths is her rich, un-bossed, and marvelous voice, which is always fierce, humorous, intelligent, and sensual. These fearless poems hold their own in the ring, unflinching and startling in their symphonic journey through the dangerous and complex fissures of family, race, womanhood, culture, blood, and belonging. Acosta places us at the defiant center of her art and her memory, which dazzles in its truths, powers, stars, feasts, scars, and songs. In this book, you will find that altars and bodies are inseparable, and you will discover a world where women’s lives open and close like pairs of bold, dark eyes. Acosta declares, “My mother was dark, too, but she had no voice. Today, I am her voice.”

­–Rachel Eliza Griffiths 

I would be tempted to say, 'Reader, go straight to "Textbook on the Desegregation of an Afro-Latinx" if you want to witness the birth of a decolonized poet,' but that would cheat you out of the surreal, dangerous, and mythologized journey that is Things to Pack on the Way to Everywhere.  As soon as you enter Acosta's book, you are in the middle of a ritual, a dispatch from a poet who is on speaking terms with death.  There is no travelling light in this orbital Afro-Latinx journey.  Acosta time bends with precision and can take us to the exact moment where we understand the strength of our resistance to rote definitions of identity.  This is punk poetry heavily invested in abolishment of oppressive tropes, a reading experience where board games become ideological battle grounds, where playground games become yet another portal into our mortality. To be sure, Acosta will make you laugh and cry on this trip while she riffs with Lauryn Hill, becomes a poet of the Americas, and makes you grateful for every waking breath you take.

­–Willie Perdomo, The Crazy Bunch.

SKU: WUSThingsToPack
Get Fresh Book Publishing
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