Synopses & Reviews
A winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series mtvU Prize as selected by Yusef Komunyakaa (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), Kristin′s work perpetuates NPS′s tradition of promoting exceptional poetry from lesser known poets.
Her poems are playful and serious all at once. They explore the richness of her cultural and linguistic heritage, which spans the globe from Mexico to the Philippines. They defend with vigor and humor the color purple. And they analyze the insecurities of the letter ′h′ -- among other things.
For thirty years, the National Poetry Series has discovered many new and emerging voices and has been instrumental in launching the careers of poets and writers such as Billy Collins, Mark Doty, Denis Johnson, Cole Swensen, Thylias Moss, Mark Levine, and Dionisio Martinez.
"Vigorous, self-assured, self-consciously youthful and proudly bilingual, Naca's debut should get many times the attention afforded most poets' first books. Poems short and long, made of family anecdotes and (like Neruda's) of impressionistic lists, poems of remembered place ('The Adoration at El Montan,' set in San Antonio, Tex.) and poems of sexual joy between women give uncommon variety to the collection, even as Naca's fast pace, mixed English and Spanish (with bits of Tagalog), and first-person emphasis give it obvious unity. 'Spanish means there's another person/ inside you,' she remembers her father saying. Poems composed originally in English mix with poems composed in Spanish and printed with her English translations. The next-to-last poem finds Naca in Mexico City, 'City so high that passion lacks heat... City where I spoke a word of Spanish, and like a spigot, my dreams squeezed shut.' She also takes up, repeatedly, her Filipino-American background, the Pittsburgh of her youth, and the wide-open spaces she saw as an optimistic young writer in Nebraska. Chosen for the National Poetry Series' new mtvU award by Yusef Komunyakaa, the volume might be noticed by young people who may not otherwise purchase poetry but may discover Naca on cable TV." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The 2008 National Poetry Series MTVU Prize Selected by Yusef Komunyakaa
About the Author
Kristin Naca is a CFD Fellow at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she teaches Asian American and Latino poetry and creative writing. Her poems have appeared in Indiana Review, North American Review, and Rio Grande Review. She lives in Minneapolis.