Red Missed Aches Read Missed Aches Red Mistakes Read MistakesJennifer Tamayo
Praise for [Red Missed Aches] from 2010 Gatewood Prize judge Cathy Park Hong
Jennifer Tamayo's writing is cacophonous, rude, and stripped. She uses equal measures of English, Spanish, and Spanglish; she landmines her poetry with malapropisms so the music is startling and pleasingly discordant. [Red Missed Aches] feels defiantly unfinished, adhering to a DIY feminist punk aesthetic so that it is more rough assemblage than bound book, a palimpsest that provocatively revises female sexuality and citizenship. Tamayo's debut collection is a daring and astonishing work that refuses borders.
From Lara Glenum
'[M]y immigrant ecstasies are / knots nestled behind / the sutures' reports Jennifer Tamayo in [Red Missed Aches]. Here, language is a series of scar filaments, a record of cutting and suturing hybrid identities. These poems radically expose the false boundedness of the body and cultural identity, which snag and fail and bleed and refuse to cohere into recognizable systems of meaning. Tamayo performs the self as limit experience, 'a figuring & fingering' of bilingualism that offers up the immigrant body as a defiantly unstable vehicle for meaning. These are borders that require our impropriety. In this exuberant debut, identity is perpetually migrating, and meaning is in transit.
From Laura Mullen
All bets on (or fantasies about) 'uncontested readability' are off. Challenging us to join her in an exploration of the underside of our meaning-making, where what we know as poetry or narrative reveals ragged, knotted threads, and the violence of communication and community-making becomes apparent, Jennifer Tamayo's work holds out to us the hope of new and truer connections between diverse populations. The remarkable originality, daring, and sheer excitement in her poetry comes from the recognition that identity is a restless, contested, complicated site, and that read-ability is based not on the stability of author or reference, but the response-ability of writer and reader alike.