POETRY

Gentefication

Four Way Sept. 2021. 136p. ISBN 9781945588969. pap. $16.95. POETRY
COPY ISBN
No, not gentrification but “gentefication,” which debuter López explains is “when the poet finally decides to/ smuggle a metate inside english/ & por fin beat the shards/ that’ve barbed his mouth.” In broiling language blending Spanish and English, vernacular and lyric often presented in lists, López aims to reclaim his culture from the gringo dominance that distorted the coming-of-age he vividly depicts here. “How come I didn’t have one white friend till I was sixteen?/ …Why did ton moms keep asking if I was related to the facilities workers?” he asks, as gringas wrinkle their “prep school noses” at his frijoles. He concludes, “It’s nation time. Build it.”

VERDICT Chosen by Gregory Pardlo for the publisher’s Levis Prize; important reading.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?

We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing

ALREADY A SUBSCRIBER?