ARKIPELAGO PUBLISHING is proud to announce the release of Gravities of Center by Barbara Jane Reyes.
Contained in this collection are poems and prose pieces which exhibit Barbara’s oftentimes eclectic style / sensibilities and willingness to experiment with form and language. With serious and playful poems very much rooted in San Francisco Bay Area urban and suburban cultures, settings, and vernaculars, a geographically faraway Philippines is never absent from this Pilipina American writer’s consciousness. Consistent throughout Gravities of Center are themes of longing, desire, diaspora, postcoloniality, feminism, and coming of age.
“To experience Barbara’s poems is to learn about the specifics of a Pilipina’s experience. And it is also to experience the ‘universality’ of desire and loss — that is, despite the consistency of losses, the stubbornness of never-ending desire [...] by engaging us all in the poetry of Desire, you need to be as present as Barbara is in her poems. So enter these poems, and stay a while.” —Eileen Tabios, from her preface to Gravities of Center
“Intelligent, energetic, and inventive, Reyes’s writing is nourished by the confluence of cultures at which she resides as an urban twenty-first century Pilipina American. Seen as both a post-colonial chronicle and an intimate exploration of self, community, and history, Gravities of Center hovers between conventional poetry or prose, bending the genres until what emerges is a work that will illuminate us like ‘garnet crystalline fire […] burning, to light the way back home’ .” —Jaime Jacinto, author of Heaven is Just Another Country
“By the end of Gravities of Center, we are left savoring the salty traces of bagoong on the tongue, the verdant spiciness of olive oil at the back of the throat. Carrying the weight of many histories, the book excites a spectrum of anger and mourning, sometimes as clipped irony, sometimes drawn out into dull, throbbing pain. Simultaneously, the joy of passion, the thrills of seduction, illuminate Reyes’s poetry. These are incantations against loss and exile, celebrations of discoveries and home. These are poems to be stroked, to be fondled between finger and thumb, a string of freshwater pearls, variegated in color, shape, and tenor.” —MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature in the U.S.
Purchase at Arkipelago Books.