"Olivarez writes the kind of poetry I want to write, where the personal and political are woven together so perfectly. He writes about family, love, friendships, foreclosure, capitalism, poverty, Taco Bell and much more in this incredible collection that includes each poem in both English and Spanish, translated by David Ruano González."
Publisher Henry Holt
Publication Date 2023-02-07
Section New Hardcover - Fiction / Poetry / All Staff Suggestions / Fiction Suggestions / Kaleigh O.
A groundbreaking collection of poems addressing how every kind of love—self, brotherly, romantic, familial, cultural—is birthed, shaped, and complicated by the invisible forces of gender, capitalism, religion, and so on. But even though the path to love is not easy, it is a path worth treading.
Love is at the heart of everything we do, and yet it is often mishandled, misrepresented, or narrowly defined. In the words of José Olivarez: “How many bad lovers have gotten poems? How many crushes? No disrespect to romantic love—but what about our friends? Those homies who show up when the romance ends to help you heal your heart. Those homies who are there all along—cheering for us and reminding us that love is abundant.”
Written in English and combined with a Spanish translation by poet David Ruano, “Promises of Gold explores many forms of love and how “a promise made isn’t always a promise kept,” as Olivarez grapples with the contradictions of the American Dream laying bare the ways in which “love is complicated by forces larger than our hearts.”
He writes, “For those of us who are hyphenated Americans, where do we belong? Promises of Gold attempts to reckon with colonial legacy and the reality of what those promises have borne out for Mexican descendants. I wrote this book to imagine and document an ongoing practice of healing—healing that requires me to show up for myself, my community, my friends, my family, and my loves every day.”
Whether readers enter this collection in English or Spanish, these extraordinary poems are sure to become beloved for their illuminations of life—and love.