Poetry. California Interest. Latino/Latina Studies. Women’s Studies. MOTHERMORPHOSIS is an exploration of the sublime terrain of mother. Poems situate the reader in the conflict between the idea and reality of what mother is in love, loss, sanity, and motherland.
“The extraordinary poems in MOTHERMORPHOSIS place readers in the particular life of a daughter and her schizophrenic mother; however, a larger world, full of war and tenderness, misunderstanding and clarity, vulnerability and empowerment, our world, is present, too, so the book speaks with great urgency for all and to all of us.”—Blas Falconer, author of A Question of Gravity and Light (2007)
“Chavez, despite the darkness of her subject matter, is a good enough poet, a powerful enough voice, to make the reader sometimes forget how harrowing these works really are… Ms Chavez has, more than other poet I’ve read in recent memory, made a real case for the validity of poetry in the 21st century. Her words sing. They scream.”—John Sweet, winner of the first Lummox Poetry Prize, 2014
“I have found over the years there are poets that influence. Poets that spark something we may not even be aware of and poets you go back to because you can’t get enough. MK Chavez is all three of these.”—Scot Young
“It is in the adornment of Chavez’s dictions that—to paraphrase Chimamanda Adichie’s magnificent speech ‘The Danger of a Single Story’—a sort of restoration, or reconciliation, might occur.”—Elizabeth Treadwell
“In a world of oversharing, MOTHERMORPHOSIS, by MK Chavez, is even more impactful due to its relentless restraint. These meticulously crafted poems bear witness to the shipwreck that can be a brown girl’s childhood, especially with a US-backed Salvadoran civil war, shaming Catholic patriarchs, a mother with mental illness, and unforgiving streets. Yet, she masterfully tells these stories, not with a rapid spilling, but with the measured assurance of having digested the perilous escape—literally, what has not killed her has made her strong. A stunning collection.”—Aya de Leon
About the Author
MK Chavez is a writer and a champion of public health. She writes about the world as it presents itself to her, broken and achingly luminous. She is the author of Virgin Eyes (Zeitgeist Press) and several other chapbooks. Chavez is co-founder/co-curator of the Berkeley-based monthly reading series Lyrics & Dirges, and the co-director of the Berkeley Poetry Festival. She is also a proud member of ABBW (Association of Black & Black Writers.) She believes in literary confrontation and its capacity to an obliterate all forms of oppression. Recent and upcoming work can be found in Rivet, Aspasiology and East Bay Review.