Back to All Events

Michelle Peñaloza & Jonterri Gadson

  • Book Soup 8818 Sunset Boulevard West Hollywood, CA, 90069 United States (map)

Michelle Penaloza & Jonterri Gadson present and sign Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire & Blues Triumphant

Ambitious and emotionally complex, Michelle Peñaloza's debut poetry collection, Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire, explores grief and violence, the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, and the complications of desire. Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire won the 2018 Hillary Gravendyk National Prize. Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of Oceanic, calls Peñaloza's book "remarkable" and says "Of this I am certain: I'll be celebrating this poet for many years to come."

Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire is a work simultaneously culturally specific and universal, with a scope ambitious and emotionally complex, it explores questions of grief and violence, and negotiates loss across landscapes and spans of time. It engages with the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality and the complications of desire. (Inlandia Institute)

Poetry. African & African American Studies. "Racial identity and family musings lead Gadson down a circular path in her profoundly candid and revealing debut collection...By reusing and transforming phrases, Gadson reveals how beliefs themselves can morph, externalizing a very interior process...Gadson's insistent echoing of herself (or herself) illuminates a poignant crux of the collection: despite the passage of time and the depth of inquiry, some questions and hard realities invariably persist." Publishers Weekly"