This is so belated, but I wanted to thank Henry for his review of my chapbook; and Iris for recommending it as part of their Staff Reads in 2012!
Self-Portrait as Rumor and Blood
by Rachelle Cruz
Dancing Girl Press, 2012
Recommended by Iris: ”Another fabulous Dancing Girl title. Notable for the courageous viscerality of its voice, Cruz’s chap is tonally very different from Eliason’s, but also intensely powerful. Cruz’s speaker is a shape-shifter, slipping easily in and out of voices and narratives from across time and space in order to weave together a portrait that glistens as much with sinew as it does with the force of its story.”
“The final note of the chapbook embraces the wild and vindictive for its possibilities. In the final title poem, “Self-Portrait as Blood,” the speaker invokes her blood as a genealogical but also mythic heritage, as a river (cf. Langston Hughes reclaiming tradition when he sang, “I’ve known rivers”), as a “magic of return,” and, finally, as a “wild, wild water.” Water as sustenance, but also as something in constant motion, flowing, refusing to stagnate or be penned in.”