Out of stock

ISBN: 978-0997093339
Categories Chapbooks, Nomadic, Poetry


Publication Date: March 2016


This title is no longer available for purchase through Black Lawrence Press, but it is available from most online book retailers. Better yet, your local bookstore should be able to order a copy for you.

Wholesale customers, please purchase this title through Ingram.

In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. Mothermorphosis was originally published by Nomadic.

Mothermorphosis is an exploration of the sublime terrain of mother. Poems situate the reader in the conflict between the idea and reality of what mother is in love, loss, sanity, and motherland.


The extraordinary poems in Mothermorphosis place readers in the particular life of a daughter and her schizophrenic mother; however, a larger world, full of war and tenderness, misunderstanding and clarity, vulnerability and empowerment, our world, is present, too, so the book speaks with great urgency for all and to all of us.
-Blas Falconer

Chavez, despite the darkness of her subject matter, is a good enough poet, a powerful enough voice, to make the reader sometimes forget how harrowing these works really are… Ms Chavez has, more than other poet I’ve read in recent memory, made a real case for the validity of poetry in the 21st century. Her words sing. They scream.
-John Sweet

I have found over the years there are poets that influence. Poets that spark something we may not even be aware of and poets you go back to because you can’t get enough. MK Chavez is all three of these.
-Scot Young

It is in the adornment of Chavez’s dictions that–to paraphrase Chimamanda Adichie’s magnificent speech ‘The Danger of a Single Story’–a sort of restoration, or reconciliation, might occur.
-Elizabeth Treadwell

In a world of oversharing, Mothermorphosis, by MK Chavez, is even more impactful due to its relentless restraint. These meticulously crafted poems bear witness to the shipwreck that can be a brown girl’s childhood, especially with a US-backed Salvadoran civil war, shaming Catholic patriarchs, a mother with mental illness, and unforgiving streets. Yet, she masterfully tells these stories, not with a rapid spilling, but with the measured assurance of having digested the perilous escape–literally, what has not killed her has made her strong. A stunning collection.
-Aya de Leon

About the Author

MK Chavez

MK Chavez is an Afro-Latinx writer, educator, multi-disciplinary artist, and curator. Chavez is co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival and co-founder and curator of Lyrics & Dirges and teaches and supports writers at Ouroboros Writing Lab. Chavez's writing explores identity, social injustice, environmental degradation, horror cinema, magic, and ritual and has been recognized with a Pen Oakland Josephine Miles award, the San Francisco Foundation/Nomadic Press Literary Award. Chavez is a 2018 Alameda County Arts Leadership Award recipient and a 2023 YBCA 100 fellow. Chavez’s literary offerings include Dear Animal, Mothermorphosis, the lyric essay chapbook A Brief History of the Selfie, and Virgin Eyes. Chavez’s work can be found among the trees in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park through the Voices of the Trees Project.

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