Dirt and Honey
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The retelling of Mexican family folktales, feminist reclamations of ancient myths, and new motherhood: Raquel Vasquez Gilliland’s debut collection, Dirt and Honey, unearths the connection of these experiences with innovative language. Gilliland writes across myth, describing a woman who grew leaves, the grandmother of God, and the story of her grandfather, who left for Texas as a refugee of the Mexican Civil War. Gilliland’s work centers readers in a place all her own—one in which ancient lineages are drawn with breast milk, seduction begins with feasts of peppers, and “fisherchildren” displaced by wars are always welcomed into new lands.
Green Writers Press, 9780999499566, 128pp.
Publication Date: May 18, 2018
About the Author
Raquel Vasquez Gilliland is a Mexican-American poet and painter inspired by folklore, myth, and plants. Vasquez Gilliland’s work focuses on her Mexican-American heritage and identity, as well as preserving ancient folk tales in verse—tales that are both regional and familial. Dirt and Honey combines these focuses with themes of ecology and feminism. “My maternal elders raised me and my siblings to value stories,” writes Vasquez Gilliland. “Naturally, I’ve always been attracted to what I’ve been taught is sacred—storytelling— and through my work, I wish to pass on this reverence to those willing to learn.” Her poems have appeared in Dark Mountain, Rattle, and Fairy Tale Review. Dirt and Honey is her debut collection and is the recipient of the Jason Wenger Award for Literary Excellence. Raquel Vasquez Gilliland lives in New Jersey with her husband and son.