This writer warns us she is a woman like a "Mexican electric fence." And yet between the sheets, or between the murmur of the rolling pin, we are trusted to overhear confidences between intimates. It is on the white sheets of this book that a woman's most private confessions are transformed from dirty laundry to poetry luminescent as linen on the line. I truly feel gratitude for being allowed to read such private dialogues. It is a book that is a remove from other Texas writers in its capacity to encompass the globe, as Chicana poetry should in the new millenium. I feel very privileged to be allowed to give this book its blessing.
~ Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street, Caramelo, Loose Woman, Have You Seen Marie, MacArthur Foundation Fellow
Throughout Natalia Treviño's sparklingly humorous, tenderly grim, and wise first collection, "dirty laundry" serves as a brilliant metaphor for a courageous, unblinking examination of interwoven cultures and generations. The poems of Lavando La Dirty Laundry give us the stories of wives, from abuelas and tias in Mexico, figures from Greek epics and the New Testament, as well as from the contemporary narrator who speaks of the sourness of a former marriage and the sweet nourishment of a new one that joins two cultures from opposite sides of the globe. Old, soiled laundry, in this collection, takes on new life, its cleaned threads glimmering with fresh breath in the intricate weavings of this must-read book.
~ Wendy Barker, author of Nothing Between Us: The Berkley Years, Winter Chickens, Poems from Paradise, UT Poet in Residence
Soaked in the bubbling sizzle of memorias hirviendo, these poems are everything but a stain rubbed clean. Sometimes the safest form of remembrance comes through the act of forgetting. But these are not safe poems. They do not have a safety net or a forewarning and they recall what some would rather forget. They are lessons in the comfort and healing that comes through sharing and telling. And tell they do. The poesia of the what-was, lying comfortably next to thepoemas of the what-is. That is what makes them so alarming!
~ Levi Romero, author of Sagrado: A Photopoetics Across the Chicano Homelandand A Poetry of Remembrance: New and Rejected Works, Centennial Poet of New Mexico
From legacies of last meals, laundries, lands and islands, and all along silver rivers where there could have been thunder outside, /islands above our heads, splitting the sky and surely sky splits and families tumble out fourteen lost babies and leave six surviving. Where the empanadas are sold at dawn, four kilos each morning,/ for your daughters, /their dresses, for school, the right dresses. Where someone must wake at three and start kneading as we need more nourishment before melanoma begins to peel away the organ of life once love is nourished in this, our, generation of living. And in Natalia Treviño’s Lavando la Dirty Laundry, we finally come to understand how we breathe, how hearts multiply/their rooms second by second/, how earth shifts to remind us/of new day, how air is enough/ to feed thousands of oceans and their pups. And how if we had known this, known what Trevino brings, we wouldn’t have spent so much time ripping/ blades of grass between (our) teeth/ to see how black storms/ enter their leaves as green light. And would have thought only flora/could feed on wisps, lap the light. Just as she guides us to know in this book of knowing. Treviño solidly delivers in her debut presentation, an admirable poetic; a knowing we all need, must read.
~ Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, author of Burn, Blood Run, Off-Season City Pipe, American Book Award Winner
This exquisite collection of poems by Natalia Treviño enchants and exposes, drawing the reader into its center surely, passionately, and as fiercely as a wildfire. Lavando La Dirty Laundry is sensual and direct, and wraps its articulate fingers firmly around your heartstrings until the reader is carried off on a magical tour through continents, cultures, languages, and marital states. Reaching everything from motherhood to cancer, and love to the hand of God, Treviño leaves us with indelible images of life at its most valiant. A premier collection by a young poet who exhibits clearly a master’s touch.
~ Carmen Tafolla, author of Sonnets and Salsa, Curandera, Poet Laureate of San Antonio