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Paper Birds: Feather by Feather / Pájaros de papel: Pluma por pluma is a bilingual poetry collection, in English and Spanish, by the recipient of the Tomás Rivera Book Award Sonia Gutiérrez, with translations by Francisco Bustos.


"Sonia Gutiérrez's poems dive into the blue/turquoise feathers of life along the border, within the cultural waves of Raza tumult and celebration; her poems strike the bone like drumsticks. These poems pat the heart like a mother's loving hand, lock arms with sisters and brothers like a fellow guerillista, she sings from the blood like the ocean waves the shore, she spirals her poetic magic until transformation occurs, and we are changed-bravo!"

—Jimmy Santiago Baca, author of No Enemies: Poems


"Sonia Gutiérrez writes visceral, magical poems of power and grace. She speaks to legacies, homage, and justice. The Spanglish translations weave beautifully with the English into a tapestry of important questions for our country and our time. Paper Birds: Feather by Feather is a gift of necessary heat, music, and ultimately, joy."

—Lee Herrick, Poet Laureate of California and author of Scar and Flower


"I once heard Juan Gregorio Regino, Mazatec poet, affirm: 'The true poet is a chjine, a healer,' this concept referred to María Sabina converges in a singular way the poetry of Sonia Gutiérrez, where the poet becomes the creator of songs of an entire wounded community by history, and her verses the balm, conjured words that permit the flight of birds in liberty."

—Susana Bautista Cruz, Indigenous languages advocate


"Diving into the pages of Paper Birds: Feather by Feather / Pájaros de papel: Pluma por pluma means surrendering to the poetic richness woven by Sonia Gutiérrez. It is a captivating rhythmic journey, an immersion into tales that defy boundaries. Gutiérrez invites readers into a world where binaries dissolve, and we find ourselves comfortably inhabiting everything all at once-fronteriza life, Spanglish, nature and humanity, both ancient and modern ways of knowing and being. Her tongue is unequivocal, the stories and poems in Paper Birds: Feather by Feather / Pájaros de papel: Pluma por pluma become an essential reading, not only for literature enthusiasts and Chicana Studies but a necessity for the next 500 years."

—Angélica M. Yañez, Ph.D., spoken word artist and editor of United States History from a Chicano Perspective


“In Paper Birds: Feather by Feather / Pájaros de papel: Pluma por pluma, the feathers of Sonia Gutiérrez’s birds are poems, stories, histories, collected in this unique avant-garde collection of American poetry. Similar to Eduardo Galeano’s Trilogy of the Americas, Sonia Gutiérrez reminds us that the Americas fed the world when in dire circumstances, not in a microcuento but in detailed, descriptive full-blown poems that like birds extend their wings to us: ‘Centuries later, can you imagine the Irish and Italians without the Incan papa in their Irish stew and ruby red tomatl in Italian spaghetti sauce so far away from the infallible memory of the motherland? In Español, tomate Roma, in Italiano, pomodoro Roma, and in English, plum tomatoes.’ All this, so we can witness the perfect underside of their struggles in a new genre of poetry, what I call ‘native informant poetry,’ after Gayatri Spivak coining of ‘native informant,’ and then Renato Rosaldo’s use of the term to indicate that it is now the true native informants, that are informing, and I add, writing books. Her poem, ‘The Frontera’s Potato Eaters,’ is worth the price of entry to the full collection. There are intricate gems and unique contributions in this collection of writing from our internal colony.”

—Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, Ph.D., author of ¿How Many Indians Can We Be? and Fresh as Lettuce: A Memoir


Paper Birds / Pájaros de papel by Sonia Gutiérrez

  • 6 x 9" US Trade Paperback

    182 pages

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