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The Verging Cities (Mountain West Poetry Series)
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The Verging Cities (Mountain West Poetry Series)

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4.39  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  7 reviews
From undocumented men named Angel, to angels falling from the sky, Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s gripping debut collection, The Verging Cities, is filled with explorations of immigration and marriage, narco-violence and femicide, and angels in the domestic sphere. Deeply rooted along the US-México border in the sister cities of El Paso, Texas, and Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, these ...more
Kindle Edition, 80 pages
Published April 15th 2015 by Center for Literary Publishing
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Abby
These are love poems--good love poems about good love--and God, they also hurt. It's El Paso-Juarez, and these cities and deserts get into your body. They get into your love. If bodies are bordered then you cross, are stopped from crossing, would die to cross, would die rather than cross--but also, explain to me again why bodies have to be bordered? "I wouldn't trust this land / with existential questions."
Sylvia
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Lately, there is such pain in speaking,/ I think someone wants me quiet" says Scenters-Zapico in her debut collection The Verging Cities, but not even pain stops the author from speaking and bringing to light the bodies, the words, the clothes, the limbs, the stories, of those who inhabit the verging land: the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez border.

These poems are a political and an emotional statement, these poems are brutal and lethal, these poems are charged with personal stories and histories, they a
...more
17CECO
This is a tenacious collection, circling around bodies, borders, Juarez, El Paso, and, most poignantly, the borders between them -- as a space in and of itself. On their own, many of the poems might seem clipped short but the tight focus of the collection gives them, together, an impressive accretive emotional and intellectual force. It's final image, of the dead--not the generic zombies of horror movies--but the dead we've met in this collection, the people of Mexico and Juarez, reunite with th ...more
Poupeh
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
painful, heartbreaking, deeply humane...
if interested in issues of bodies and borders, this is a gem of a book.
Maria Reads
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing debut poetry book. As someone who is from the border, who was born in Ciudad Juarez, and raised in El Paso, I think this is a loving, honest and respectful depiction of the border. I really appreciate that Natalie doesn't only dwell in the violence and brutality of the border, but finds a way to interweave love and relationships, delivering a nuanced depiction of la frontera. As a poet, I really appreciate her love poems. It's so hard to write about love without coming across as cliche, ...more
Jonathan Tennis
Apr 09, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Read about this poet in a recent article in Poets & Writers. Didn’t work for me but there were a few I enjoyed: angel & I, Because you don’t have a social security number, Endnotes on Ciudad Juarez.

“No pillows, only thoughts of frozen fish fertilizing / the tomato plants, thoughts of bulls disappeared / from their pastures, thoughts of fingers hidden / in the glove box. Angel cries so I use my wedding band / to collect his tears, but hollow rings hold nothing.” – p. 63 (from Angel &
...more
Tori
Nov 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Verging Cities is very much a contemporary poetry book. It offers a very hard, graphic image for the reader to comprehend but the meaning behind each poem is very necessary and very relevant.

For me, this book was on par with rupi kaur's and Warsaw Shire's poetry. It is brutal, it is honest, and it hides no emotions. For the border reader, for those trying to understand, and for others who want an honest look, this is the poetry book for you.
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Natalie Scenters-Zapico is from the sister cities of El Paso, Texas, U.S.A. and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México. She is the author of The Verging Cities, which won the Great Lakes Colleges' Association New Writers Award, the National Association of Chicana/o Studies Poetry Award, and was featured as a top ten debut by Poets and Writers (June 2015). A 2015 CantoMundo fellow, her poems have appeare ...more