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New Release Atlas of an Ancient World

Atlas of an Ancient World

by Violeta Orozco

Violeta Orozco’s Atlas of an Ancient World echoes with “the grace of the very first leap / of the child into the planet.” These poems are dreamscapes mineralized into a counter-memory, rooted in yet untethered to everyday language. Orozco writes of remembrance, displacement, and impossible return in lines that are by turns gorgeously compressed (“El Zapatero,” the luminous couplets of “Desert Sentinels/Sabino Canyon”) and expansive fields or galaxies of meaning. From oceanic and volcanic ecopoetics of the spirit depths to the “urban borderland” of Mexico City’s industrial periphery, Orozco claims and complicates a visionary poetics, in conversation with Nahua cosmologies and with poets of world-making such as Gloria Anzaldúa and W.S. Merwin. Orozco’s poems “tell time in tides,” striving for a music of dispersal that cannot be contained by a lyric I or the lettered city. At a time when we need it most, Atlas of an Ancient World insists on poetry as deep knowledge of our bodyminds as they relate to each other and the world around us. Against the noise of civilizations, Orozco urges us “to hold only the grace of this silence.”

-Urayoán Noel


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