Poems by Laurie Ann Guerrero

A Meal for the Tribe

Roosters: Homecoming

Early Words for my Son

 

 



Born and raised in Southside San Antonio, Laurie Ann Guerrero writes poetry that is both universal and local, returning us always to the many vitalities of the body, that ever-present reserve of the imagination. In the words of Martín Espada, “Guerrero writes in a language of the body, visceral, almost unbearably vivid, the language of a poet who knows how to work with her hands . . . .” Her first full-length collection, A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying, was selected winner of the 2012 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize by Francisco X Alarcon and released by the University of Notre Dame Press in 2013. In this first book of what Nikky Finney has called “dazzling, edgy, irascible poems,” Guerrero conjures the life-giving powers of the tongue, honing a body of work that resists definition and instead welcomes a rich multiplicity of meanings and plurality of voices.

Centered around the lives and stories of hard-working women, Guerrero’s collection delivers us to a place of potent ferocity— a place that lies in-between worlds: languages, allegiances, spiritualities, and ancestors. She writes skillfully of womanhood, motherhood and family, excavating and recovering some of the histories of those around her. Ross Gay has praised her work, writing, “In poems crafted with tremendous skill, Laurie Ann Guerrero’s A Tongue in the Mouth of the Dying explores, so often, the ways in which the colonized or poor or brown have been brutalized, and their stories written by the conquerors. But . . . the re-writing has begun. This is a powerful, necessary book.”

An Ada Comstock Scholar at Smith College, Guerrero earned a B.A. in English Language & Literature and went on to complete her MFA in Poetry from Drew University. Her chapbook, Babies Under the Skin (2008), won the Panhandler Publishing Award, chosen by Naomi Shihab Nye. Her poetry and critical work have appeared in a number of journals, including Huizache, Texas Monthly, Acentos Review, Women's Studies Quarterly, Palo Alto Review, Global City Review, Texas Observer, Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism, Feminist Studies and others. A CantoMundo fellow and member of the Macondo Writers' Workshop, Guerrero has served on the faculty at University of the Incarnate Word, University of Texas-El Paso, Palo Alto College, and Gemini Ink, a community-centered literary arts organization in San Antonio.