Included in the Academy of American Poets’s Featured Fall Books for 2019!
“Winner of the Paz Prize for Poetry, this dual-language book explores perseverance and survival in the face of violence, displacement, and defeat.”
—Publishers Weekly, Fall 2019 Adult Announcements (Poetry)
From the introduction by Rigoberto González:
A regular heartbeat is composed of the two sounds made when the blood flows through the organ as the valves contract. To listen to its rhythm through a stethoscope is to appreciate the slight distinction between two movements that are unequivocally connected–one beat calls, the other responds. Similarly, the two sections of Johanny Vázquez Paz’s stunning book of poems offer the reader distinct tones powered by the same source: perseverance.
In the first part, the speaker declares herself a survivor. Her story is rooted to a violent landscape that some may call home, though for this woman home is a battleground, her body ravaged by war…
The second part examines a much different challenge that presents itself to many immigrants: displacement. The speaker’s struggle to hold on to her past, indeed her history, via her native Spanish language is compromised by the pressures of assimilation…
Ofrezco mi corazón como una diana is a book of victory over silence and the truest testament to what it means to outlive that which has defeated or deflated many. If there’s a spirit guiding the courage embedded in its pages, it must be the Phoenix, the miraculous being that rises from the ashes reborn, or rather, pieced together again. The heart beats once more. The woman reclaims the word.