Podcast: Play in new window
Local poet and educator Adela Najarro paid a visit to the Poetry Show on May 10, 2015. She has not one but two new books out, and will be reading from both on Tuesday, at the monthly event sponsored by Poetry Santa Cruz. A bilingual heritage informs Adela’s poetry, along with an interest in the history and politics both of her parents’ native Nicaragua and the United States. Adela now lives in Santa Cruz and teaches creative writing, literature and composition at Cabrillo College.
The book title Split Geography (Mouthfeel Press) refers to that mix of ethnic and cultural influences, a duality that Adela feels strongly in her life and expresses in her poetry. Adela read a number of poems inspired by various times and places and events, followed by discussions with host Dennis Morton. Fellow poet and Cabrillo College instructor David Sullivan says:
“Split Geography covers vast tracts of land and multiple countries in language that heals as it explores both internal and external rifts. The vagaries of love, and the need to love oneself and others (in all their rich complexity) surface in poem after poem. The personality that emerges from this collection is funny, poignant, irascible, and above all, in love with the promise that writing can be a spiritual exercise to re-make ourselves. These are poems to live among.”
Twice Told Over (Unsolicited Press) takes a more personal turn, exploring themes of family and personal relationships. California poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera offers this endorsement:
“For its eye of the all-seeing crocodile half in dark waters and half in the prey-light of death and hunger, for its electric rush of love, its gambles with destiny, for its deep knowledge of borderlessness, the slippage of love and dissolution into something like Mystery makes this collection a rare magic. And perhaps, because of its woman eye, illusory skin, bleached colors and its various upside-down taboos where words and love-deeds are “hechas para atrás / pushed aside,” I commend this book. It is a surreal mathematics, a travelogue to ancestors, a gypsy’s deck of last-breath, plotting flowers ditching toward the sun. A tour de force, magnificent, lovely, sculpted, drenched with Borges, Sexton, Najarro. A radically new Latina verse.”