Wisconsin Poetry Series
Edited by Ronald Wallace and Sean Bishop
Winner of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry, selected by Natasha Trethewey
“Fractures teaches us the past is always inflecting the present. In poems as charged as they are exquisitely made, Gómez offers us the chance to appreciate searching for 'the exact day / [he] stopped dreaming in the language / that sings [his] name.' But its true gift, its true power, is the way it transforms loss and sadness into something triumphant.”
In his landmark debut, Carlos Andrés Gómez interrogates race, gender, sexuality, and violence to explore some of the most pressing issues of our time. These poems address the complexities and nuances of toxic masculinity, assimilation, homophobia, and the joy and anguish of trying to raise Black children in America. Gómez casts an uncompromising eye toward both brutality and tenderness, going where we are most uncomfortable and lingering in moments of introspection that reveal fear, grief, or hatred. Birthed at a breaking point, these poems carve open silence, revealing fissures that welcome the light. Unflinching, poignant, and powerful, Fractures is both a gut punch and a balm.
The boy was done
with being shadow, dust film on boot
lip—wanted to be luminous. Sometimes a life
splinters to break. To scatter.
—Excerpt from "Race was not a factor"
“Equal parts vision and prophecy . . . devastatingly precise, full of aching desire for a complex past and nostalgia for the future yet to come. Gómez is writing with an urgency for the most pressing issues of our time. This is a voice that demands to be heard.”
—Tina Chang, author of Hybrida
“Gómez writes poems of unswerving conviction that also shine on the page, poems that emerge from the very nucleus of human experience. With compelling honesty and accuracy, he reveals the fissures of the mind and the heart. In the articulate and masterfully written poems, he has given us a redemptive vision.”
—Rodney Jones, Pulitzer Prize in Poetry finalist
Recent Winners of the Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry
LC: 2020010786 PS
104 pp. 6 x 9