Cover Art: Maria Tomasula
Cover & Interior Design: Alban Fischer
Paperback, 36 pages
December 12, 2019, ISBN 978-1-936919-76-5
About Norma Liliana Valdez
Norma Liliana Valdez is the author of the chapbook Preparing the Body (YesYes Books, 2019). A member of the Macondo Writers’ Workshop and a CantoMundo fellow, her work appears in The Rumpus, The Los Angeles Review, PANK Magazine, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and the anthology Latinas: Struggles & Protests in 21st Century USA, among others. Norma earned a BA in Psychology, an MS in Counseling, and a graduate certificate in Ethnic Studies from San Francisco State University. She is an alumna of the UC Berkeley Extension Writing Program and has been awarded writing residencies and fellowships from Hedgebrook, Under the Volcano, Community of Writers, and the Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA/Voices), in addition to others. Norma is a founding member of the Xingona Collective, a Bay Area women’s writing group whose mission is to nurture a sustaining writing practice for its members through mutual encouragement and writing retreats.
Preparing the Body by Norma Liliana Valdez
About Preparing the Body
Preparing the Body begins with an interrogation: who hushed / my legs / queried /my skirt. These poems rebuke the multitude of ways that women’s agency, self-ownership, and bodily integrity are denied by society, destroyed even. Valdez’s poems inhabit landscapes of violation and reckoning in a soundtrack of cumbia, danzón, and the blues. This collection is a force of nature, a wildfire; its smoke chases the body to, and beyond, the borders of its silence, grief, desire, and undoing.
"I am utterly astonished by this fiercely gorgeous collection of poems. With her sparks of truth and pain, her righteously transformative resiliency, Norma Liliana Valdez turns language and experience into a series of burning revelations. This book is a flame."
-Elizabeth Rosner, author of Survivor Café: The Legacy of Trauma and the Labyrinth of Memory
"The female body is a contested site from birth and over some lives and some stories, this vulnerability leads to a conspiracy of secrets and shame. Norma Liliana Valdez charts this path but also reclaims it with a heartbreaking lyric eye. Her fierce book boldly reifies Morgan Parker’s assertion that 'The body is a person,' a clarion call for survivors."
-Carmen Giménez Smith, author of Be Recorder and 2019 National Book Award Finalist