Grand Tour: Poems

Farrar. Sept. 2023. 112p. ISBN 9780374611378. $26. POETRY
In her debut, Gonzalez’s tour not only takes readers across the world, from Cyprus to Poland to Puerto Rico and Germany, but it is also a personal journey. The collection includes letters to the poet’s former selves at ages 13, 24, and 30, and reflections on family and grief, including the loss of a sibling, for instance in “Puente De Piedra”: “And death—/ Were I just a little quicker to turn my head, might I see you there,/ in form perhaps something like the changeable blue no one living/ can describe, certainly not me?” Weather is also a theme that often appears in the collection, sometimes becoming its own character, and other times helping to build an undercurrent of alarm: “This morning even before/ I drew back the curtains I felt the smog/ in my nose and chest,/ a strong smog layering the light/ in the sky, tessellating yellow/and pink like a ballerina’s tulle,/ a beauty not consolation/but misdirection.”
VERDICT Gonzalez’s collection is a strong debut that is sure to captivate a broad spectrum of readers.
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