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The Weight of Recognition (Paperback)

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"Maria Vasquez Boyd's poetry collection The Weight of Recogntion begins with the line, "At birth his tiny heart was replaced with a rabbits' heart." It is a jolting line given her disclosure of a heart condition. (All is better and getting better.) This is no lament but the words of a woman whose heart is, "the shape of a mourning dove/hunkered down in the wind. ... the shape of fists/that pummel locked doors." This is a poet alive in the world serving notice. "Gentle hearts bend to carry parched souls/Back to the ground where desperate journeys begin. ... Hearts divided between two worlds who forge trails of tears/ and two paragraphs in history books." While "Pragmatic men motionless/prefer sickness to the cure," Boyd is, "The woman who decorates her forearms with henna instead of razor blades/considers flesh filled loops and spirals/like a walking hieroglyph awaiting translation." In Whisper Song, one of many gems in this collection, Boyd asks, "What offerings does one make to a soul whose journey is long and uncertain?" The answer comes in the last line of the collection "... she leaned over the/cockpit/ and thanked the pilot for the ride."

-Jose Faus is a founding member of the Latino Writers Collective and sits on the boards of

the Latino Writers Collective, UMKC Friends of the Library, Charlotte Street Foundation

and is president of the board of The Writers Place.

"Maria Vasquez Boyd's The Weight of Recognition is a fascinating poetic quest in which the poet asks whether the self (the "shifting mask" in the mirror) can be located by faith or doubt, through her heritage or self-portrait in "slow paint," in romantic imagination or mundane experience (like mending pocket holes). Its chief recurring image is the human heart-like a fist, a mouth, a mourning dove "hunkered down" in wind; beating to the "pizzicato" of a clock; related to the monarch butterfly that the poet places inside her shirt. Boyd's collection features fresh imagery, honest longing, highly original use of language, and-best of all-an epiphany of self-knowing."

-Linda M. Lewis, This Swirling Largesse

"Maria Vasquez Boyd turns the reader into, "A person of magic" who "happily discovers / glass that shimmers / and sprouts / from a well-tended garden." This book is that garden. Precisely pruned and paired down so it's blooms can display the beauty in growth.

-Huascar Medina, 7th Poet Laureate of Kansas, author of Un Mango Grows in Kansas City

The Weight of Redemption by Maria Vasquez Boyd is an ethereal journey through stars and sky, a book of heavenly and earthly bodies, of imperfect hearts-tiny rabbit heart, heart shaped like a mourning dove, heart divided between two worlds, paper-folded hearts, gentle and elusive hearts, pounding and black hearts-- and stones, stones semi-precious, shiny, smooth, glowing or sinking. In this book "everything moves outward and accelerates" with borderless butterflies, the power of birds, a "shifting mask in the mirror," ancient and modern stories, of all that is important about the natural, visceral, and spiritual world. Vasquez Boyd puts us there.

-MaryFrances Wagner, Poet Laureate of Missouri, author of Solving for X (Spartan Press,


Product Details
ISBN: 9781958182086
ISBN-10: 1958182087
Publisher: Spartan Press
Publication Date: August 3rd, 2022
Pages: 66
Language: English