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Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz is named a finalist for the National Book Award for Poetry! Learn more.


Roy G. Guzmán
After they locate and excavate your wing-fossils,
perseverance might be the trait you’re known for.
How swiftly you sloped downwards to pick up
the carcasses floating just above the bloodstained
surface of your old neighborhood. In the laboratory,
the paleontologists will use radiometric dating
to zoom into what bequeathed you that agency to fly.
This one might have outlasted all the others,
they’ll say. Might have even seen each one disappear
behind a bolt of fire blasted from who knows where.

                        —from “Queerodactyl”
A name for the people of Honduras, Catrachos is a term of solidarity and resilience. In these unflinching, riveting poems, Roy G. Guzmán reaches across borders—between life and death and between countries—invoking the voices of the lost. Part immigration narrative, part elegy, and part queer coming-of-age story, Catrachos finds its own religion in fantastic figures such as the X-Men, pop singers, and the “Queerodactyl,” which is imagined in a series of poems as a dinosaur sashaying in the shadow of an oncoming comet, insistent on surviving extinction. With exceptional energy, humor, and inventiveness, Guzmán’s debut is a devastating display of lyrical and moral complexity—an introduction to an immediately captivating, urgently needed voice.

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The breathtaking debut collection from one of America’s most inventive new poets 

About the Author

Roy  Guzman
Credit: Kai Coggin
Roy G. Guzmán received a 2019 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and a 2017 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow. Raised in Miami, Guzmán lives in Minneapolis.
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  • "Who more than queer people—especially queer people of color—know what it’s like to dance in the face of danger, to sashay away in the face of extinction, to love in the face of stolen liberties? . . . The emergence of a powerful new force."O, The Oprah Magazine
  • “Marked by poems that are lyrical and syntactically daring. . . . [Catratchos] nods to the perseverance of excavating a queer self and giving it flight.”—Library Journal
  • "[Catrachos] is a courageous polemic against a growing moral bankruptcy in America, as well as a tender personal story delivered with effortless lyricism."—Publishers Weekly
  • "Catrachos heralds the arrival of a distinctive poetic voice; visually compelling, filled with. . .  wide-ranging, and contrasting images, inventive in its language and forms, and brave for its candor and introspection."—The Rumpus
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