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A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying

Laurie Ann Guerrero

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Belletristik / Lyrik, Dramatik


Filled with the nuanced beauty and complexity of the everyday—a pot of beans, a goat carcass, embroidered linens, a grandfather’s cancer— A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying journeys through the inherited fear of creation and destruction. The histories of South Texas and its people unfold in Laurie Ann Guerrero’s stirring language, including the dehumanization of men and its consequences on women and children. Guerrero’s tongue becomes a palpable border, occupying those liminal spaces that both unite and divide, inviting readers to consider that which is known and unknown: the body. Guerrero explores not just the right, but the ability to speak and fight for oneself, one's children, one's community—in poems that testify how, too often, we fail to see the power reflected in the mirror.


Guerrero’s poems weave in and out of light and shadow, good and evil, the sublime and the sorrowful, creating a tapestry that is wholly Texas. . . . A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying evokes the mysteries of a people—Mexicans and Texas Mexicans alike—who have the power to astonish with their fortitude, or disillusion with their inexperience; the beauty of Guerrero’s collection is its ability to do both so fluidly. —Texas Books in Review
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South Texas, prize-winning collection, language of the body, poems, Latina, Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, poetry, colonized, brown, poor, American, Latino literature