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Catrachos

Poems
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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$16.00
ISBN
978-1-64445-023-9
Format
Paperback
Publication Date
Subject
Pages
112
Trim Size
6.5 x 9
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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Step inside the world of books and get a view straight from the desks of our authors and editors. Join Graywolf Press and four of our outstanding writers as they welcome us into their homes for an evening of conversations about place and imagination during this unprecedented moment in history. 

The Graywolf Literary Salon will feature Natalie Diaz (Postcolonial Love Poem), Roy G. Guzmán (Catrachos), Khaled Mattawa (Fugitive Atlas), and Kevin Young  (Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts & Fake News).

Admission is free, but we encourage you to give a donation of $25 or more to support Graywolf Press. All proceeds benefit Graywolf's New Chapter Campaign, a $3 million initiative to strengthen our publishing program through investments in editorial, marketing, audience development, engagement, and infrastructure. 

Praise

  • "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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