Critical Writing

My research and teaching interests include Latina/o/x studies, Latinx literature, poetry and poetics, poetry of the Americas, and hemispheric American studies.

A short essay on Francisco Aragón’s After Rubén, excerpted and adapted from my Foreword to his forthcoming collection, is up on the Best American Poetry blog (March 2, 2020). You can preorder the beautiful book of poems and prose from Red Hen Press.

My short essay on teaching the novels of Helena María Viramontes appears in the March 2020 Latinx Talk Special Series on Latinx Migration Literature.

Shakeout Poetics: Documentary Poetry from Men of Fact to Data Bodies,” my article on documentary poetics, is just out in a special issue (Poetry Networks) of College Literature: A Journal of Critical Literary Studies, edited by Kamran Javadizadeh and Robert Volpicelli (47.1, 2020).

Dialectical Imaginaries cover

My review of Harris Feinsod’s The Poetry of the Americas: From Good Neighbors to Countercultures appears in Modernism/modernity (25.3, 2018).

My essay “Quarantine Citizen: Latinx Poetry and the Matter of Capital” appears in Dialectical Imaginaries: Materialist Approaches to U.S. Latino/a Literature in the Age of Neoliberalismedited by Marcial González and Carlos Gallego, is available with the University of Michigan Press (November 2018).

My essay on U.S. Latinx poetry appears in The Cambridge Companion to Latin American Poetry (spring 2018, edited by Stephen Hart).

CUP cover

September 2017: My article-listicle “Ten Must Read Latino Books,” in which I attempt to squeeze three times as many great Latinx books into a top ten, appears in the AWP’s Writer’s Chronicle. For AWP members, it’s available here.

March 2017: “Poetry from a Year of Precarity” is up at ASAP/J, the online arm of the terrific ASAP/Journal. This is a review essay of five exceptional books from 2016, by Daniel Borzutzky, Susan Briante, Don Mee Choi, Solmaz Sharif, and Rodrigo Toscano.

September 2016: “Ascendance and Abjection: Reading Latina/o Poetry in the Summer of Trump,” in The American Poetry Review.

August 2016. “They Must Be Re(pre)sented: Archiving Nuyorican Poetry’s ‘Diasporous’ Bodies.” Review essay of In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam, by Urayoán Noel. In Journal of Modern Literature.

Spring 2016. “Reinventing Ecopoetics: Chicano Poetry’s Undocumentary Turn.” In Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies.

Acknowledged Legislator

“‘The black braid of names’: A Hemispheric Mapping of Martín Espada’s Lyric Monuments,” in Acknowledged Legislator: Critical Essays on the Poetry of Martín Espada, published by Farleigh Dickinson University Press, edited by Edward J. Carvalho, April 2014, pp. 219-241. To buy this collection, click here.

“‘Andando entre dos mundos’: Towards an Appalachian Latino Literature,” in Appalachian Journal 39.3-4 (2012), pp. 270-288.

“‘Of the smog’: José Emilio Pacheco’s Concussive Poetics of Mexico City,” in Hispanic Review 79.2 (2011), pp. 291-316.

“‘A mountain / in my pocket’: The Affective Spatial Imagination in Post-1952 Puerto Rican Poetry,” in MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States) 35.2 (2010), in a special issue on Multi-Ethnic Poetics edited by Keith Leonard and Meta Jones, pp. 41-67.

“Spaces for Congregation and Creative Play: Martín Espada’s and Victor Hernández Cruz’s Poetic Plazas,” in College Literature 37.2 (2010), pp. 1-23.

My commentary on poetry is posted on Progressive Poetics, a collaborative project curated and compiled by the poet H.L. Hix. Responding to Adorno, Auden, Tu Fu, and a string of short responses by poets and critics, Hix’s “one-question interview” has generated some tremendous commentaries. Here’s mine.

My book, American Political Poetry into the 21st Century was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2007. It’s available here. This book examines the language of individual and collective agency in various strains of contemporary American poetry and hip-hop music.

“Live Hip Hop, Collective Agency, and ‘Acting in Concert,’” in Popular Music and Society 30.1 (2007), pp. 75-90.

“Working in the Space of Disaster: Yusef Komunyakaa’s Dialogues with America,” in Callaloo: A Journal of African Diaspora Arts & Letters 28.3 (2005), pp. 812-823.