Songs of Brujería - Amanda Galvan Huynh

Songs of Brujería - Amanda Galvan Huynh



Release: September 23rd, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-941985-60-1
48 Pages
5.8” x 8.3”
Ltd. Edition of 100

"Some fray in a field/of onions, a horizon/of green stalks flanked//by brown bags/& some fray after one/ season in a Texas//summer." In this cutting collection, Amanda Galvan Huynh traces the lineage of one Latinx's family's journey from the fields of Texas to city high school. The narrative poems in Songs Of Brujería reach to depths of self-exploration culture, labor, gender, and matriarchal identity with precision and poise. In her debut release, Amanda Galvan Huynh unravels an entire cultural history & frays at it until, with succinct & immediate urgency, one family's memories are laid bare.

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“This emotionally poignant and skillfully crafted chapbook captures the intergenerational stories of a Latinx family as they move across Texas to work the fields. At its center is a frayed mother figure, whose life teaches us about violence, survival, womanhood, migration, death, and love. As the speaker notes in the title poem: “She would teach me how to listen to the magic / found in those nights—as if all I had / to do was press my ear to my pulse—to find my way home.” Galvan Huynh learned this lesson well because every page pulses with memory and song.”

—Craig Santos Perez, from unincorporated territory

“In Songs of Brujería, Amanda Galvan Huynh deftly explores the entanglements of identity for the mestizo latinx woman. Here you will not find poems full of elixirs and spells, nowhere the botánica love spell. The book, rather, is itself is an act of the sacred medicine from which brujería stems: taken together, these poems form an act of healing, of clarifying and unburdening the spirit from what ails it. The speech of the poems is plain, prose-like, but turned on the lathe of the line, silences and spaces are carved out — making much-needed windows that bring light into the repressed rooms of the family house. Narratives here are drawn out vertically, opening them, revealing their hidden layers. Galvan Huynh bears witness to the cycles of harm with endless compassion, acknowledging the larger forces of colonization and patriarchy that inform identity and family relationships, particularly those of mothers and daughters. The book urges us to examine our own wounds and those of others, to ask the difficult questions, to keep reaching after what is lost, to be the authors and keepers of our own history.”

—Stephanie Adams-Santos, Swarm Queen's Crown