Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire by Michelle Penaloza


Ambitious and emotionally complex, Michelle Peñaloza's debut poetry collection, Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire, explores grief and violence, the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, and the complications of desire. Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire won the 2018 Hillary Gravendyk National Prize. Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of Oceanic, calls Peñaloza's book "remarkable" and says "Of this I am certain: I'll be celebrating this poet for many years to come."

Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire is a work simultaneously culturally specific and universal, with a scope ambitious and emotionally complex, it explores questions of grief and violence, and negotiates loss across landscapes and spans of time. It engages with the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality and the complications of desire.

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