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With the River on Our Face

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  57 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Emmy Pérez’s poetry collection With the River on Our Face flows through the Southwest and the Texas borderlands to the river’s mouth in the Rio Grande Valley/El Valle. The poems celebrate the land, communities, and ecology of the borderlands through lyric and narrative utterances, auditory and visual texture, chant, and litany that merge and diverge like the iconic river i ...more
Paperback, 104 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by University of Arizona Press
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Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Another guide through the wild places of the world is Emmy Pérez, whose collection “With the River on Our Face” is coming Oct. 4 from The University of Arizona Press. The transplanted California Latina—poet and academic—brings her considerable wisdom and skill to bear on themes and issues along the Rio Grande/Bravo. The book is divided into five parts: Downriver, Midriver, Rio Grande-Bravo, Cara and Boca. But the poems themselves seek to heal fractures in identity, culture and place, re-weaving ...more
RTB: Review of Texas Books
by Reed Galloway

Emmy Perez, creative writing professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and member of the Marcondo Writer’s Workshop, a group of social writers whose work promotes awareness of social injustices, features vivid imagery of the plants, animals, and landscape of the Rio Grande in her latest collection, With the River on Our Face.

The collection of poems in five parts, telling the intimate story of life, death, and dreams along the border in the Rio Grande Valley, begins w
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Poetry is a new genre of reading for me, and while I'm still getting the hang of how to read it, I understood the ideas and messages written in these poems, and I was very much aware of the healing energy that Emmy Pérez exudes as she's writing about la frontera. Much of this is political poetry; it is a voice against the immigration laws and border walls that have been erected since 9/11. But I'd say it is also a love letter to the river itself. The people that live there, the bugs and animals ...more
Craig Werner
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Perez presents herself as literary daughter of Gloria Anzaldua and lives up to the lineage beautifully. Locating her poems in a closely observed and felt sense of the natural world of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo borderland, la frontera to use Anzaldua's term, she slides easily between English and Spanish, casting a clear hard eye on the political violence of US policy. The poems I'd start with would be the long central piece "Rio Grande-Bravo" and the title poem, but for a first volume, With the Ri ...more
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
100% Acceptance

It is a work like Anzaldúa’s, accepting of the person reading it. It is meta-poetic, aware of the linear structure and populated with nonjudgmental creatures who judge us. I feel sticky and full of cognitive dissonance and waiting for the messages las culebras will send me today.
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