Adding to the Latina tradition, Carmen Gimenez Smith, politically aware and feminist-oriented, focuses on general cultural references rather than a sentimental personal narrative. She speaks of sexual politics and family in a fierce, determined tone voracious in its opinions about freedom and responsibility. The author engages in mythology and art history, musically wooing the reader with texture and voice. As she references such disparate cultural figures as filmmaker Lars Von Trier, Annie from the film Annie Get Your Gun, Nabokov's Lolita, facebook entries and Greek gods, they appear as part of the poet's cultural critique. Phrases such as the caustic domain of urchins and the gelatin shiver of tea's surface take the poems from lyrical images to comic humor to angry, intense commentary. On writing about downgrading into human, she says, Then what? Amorality, osteoporosis and t even a marble estuary for the ages. Gimenez Smith's poetic arsenal includes rapier-sharp wordplay mixed with humor, at times self-deprecating, at others an ironic comment on the postmodern world, all interwoven with imaginative language of unexpected force and surreal beauty. Revealing a long view of gender issues and civil rights, the author presents a clever, comic perspective. Her poems take the reader to unusual places as she uses rhythm, images, and emotion to reveal the narrator's personality. Deftly blending a variety of tones and styles, Gimenez Smith's poems offer a daring and evocative look at deep cultural issues.
Carmen Gimenez Smith is an assistant professor in the English department at New Mexico State University, editor-in-chief of the literary journal Puerto del Sol, and publisher of Noemi Press. She is the also the author of Bring Down the Little Birds and Odalisque in Pieces.
Carmen Gimenez Smith
University of Arizona Press
Date of Publication
Poetry Texts & Poetry Anthologies
Camino del Sol: A Latina and Latino Literary (Paperback)