all things lose thousands of times

foreword by Mg Roberts

Angela Penaredondo’s debut collection of body/migratory/incantatory poems, explores the alchemy and ritual of poetics that stem from the space of in-between or realm of intersections. These are grey zones where energies that lie opposite on the same spectrum finally collide and intermingle:  the intellect and the sensual, the profane and the holy, love and violence, memory and erasure. Here, there are no geographical or cultural boundaries marked, no sides chosen, only a maneuvering through, a queering of, and a resisting to. All Things Lose Thousands of Times are feminist-oriented poems investigating where fragments of the body’s memory, culture, gender and desire gather, then piece themselves together to form into new shapes: a hybrid woman, a female assemblage, a history palimpsest, a transnational body.

Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States

Multi-sensory voyager - sculptor of love and painter of concept and delirium, a choreographer of space and a duende-splicer between Baudelaire, Lorca and Strauss. Angela is somewhere in there, cinematic; a Casanova pin-stripe suit, then a flaring thigh, then a topaz sari. I find Peñaredondo a most accomplished poet, a devouring mind and most of all, a deep, intimate observer touching the big bright, dark worlds — their wounds and miracles. She says, "I want to be that kind / who walks through a wall of fifty lives." Indeed she possesses this kind of power. A genius at work.

Ronaldo Wilson, author of Farther Traveler

A luminous and timely book of migratory poetics that gathers in the body, no matter how impossibly marooned, the mouth of the lyric I. Drawn from the compression of loss, "…beyond the clenched doors, the perfume/ of starved flowers." Peñaredondo’s speaker seeks in the "…web of wetness, what…has been written out." The poet’s collapsing of cultural dimensions into the weight of traveling through an embodied history and present reveals an urgent landscape (of war, of art, of nature, of people) of the inevitable and the incommensurable: "I’d rather be whoever bathes/in the monsoon, knees swaying—/unequaled. Wanting allows gospel…" Peñaredondo’s truth brilliantly explores precariousness, revealing the need to move at its edges, and to escape, into "husk" and "crystalline pictograph"—"I came back not to regret/ or ask the particulars why I left./ When a tree falls, its roots/ aim jagged, pointing/ in all directions…"

Carmen Giménez Smith, author of Milk and Filth

The poems in All Things Lose Thousands of Times aptly tell a transnational coming of age story, a becoming from the savage and the fertile, the urban and the fantastic, where "heaven comes after collision." This is a stunning debut for Peñaredondo, poems that shimmer with dense and riveting lyricism.

Chad Sweeney, author of Wolf’s Milk 

Elastic, dimensional, all-together convincing, Angela Peñaredondo’s debut All Things Lose Thousands of Times wields the language as a mountain wields a storm, in phrases that pivot, reverse, wander, tighten, leap and fall through geographies of the body, an inward archipelago of experience, individual and collective, all past and flooded, all future and on fire, bearing unflinching witness to courage, revelation and sexuality, to life and to the lives of women where "their mothers have turned into mangroves" and where "her father found us / as I knelt before her, knees / on church-cold tile." A profoundly alert and loving book that sings and celebrates the cosmic interplay of forms. This is what poetry can do. I feel rescued by it.

Praise

Maroon

A personal examination around the various definitions of the word, maroon, this poetry chapbook is about what can thrive in place of alienation and isolation. The poems find possibilities for migration even when the self is birthed from marginalized and casted off roots. This chapbook navigates the trials of childhood, youth, family, travel, identity and sexuality as a young, API, queer woman. These are poetic stories that succumb to the ingrained need to roam while knowing there is no anchor or foothold—only the release.

Allison Adele Hedge Coke, Witter Bynner Fellow & author of Streaming

Angela Peñaredondo’s Maroon is intoxicating. Luscious image, wholly steeped in salty sensuality, simmering fervor deftly choreographed with dizzying divinations, all tied up with slipknot presages, memory, truth – this book is a sweet copper rum, rich and ready to quench. Maroon is music, resounding, resonant slake. Drink, drink deep.

Meg Day, author of Last Psalm at Sea Level

The voice in this collection is irresistible: strong and lyric, tender and controlled: "I have not heard the rumble of monsoon in days / but if steam is to rise from this hot earth / then tumble, now is the time." I cannot wait to read more from this poet.

Stephanie Barbé Hammer, author of How Formal?

Welcome to Maroon – a mysterious island of words that is also an imagistic firecracker continually exploding before our astonished, eyes. Angela Peñaredondo’s cast adrift speaker is at times an actor, a tourist, a bemused visitor to her (un)homeland(s) and a shipwrecked child remembering family lost and recovered through the acts of traveling and remembering. The ports of call on this circuitous journey range from Manila to Havana to Kansas City to Los Angeles and beyond. But we are never lost. As we read these gorgeous poems, we travel a complex transnational space with a witty, perceptive poet, who – like a postmodern Virgil – leads us across a terrain at once tragic and inspiring, where we find family resemblances in the faces of strangers.

Allison Benis White, author of Small Porcelain Head

In her brilliant debut chapbook, Maroon, Angela Peñaredondo writes, in an address to the sea, "I have fallen/ in love with a diver/ already dead. And you/ bring him to me?" As I read these poems, I kept thinking of Prufrock’s mermaids, his fear that they will not sing to him. In this lush, deeply inventive, musically alive collection, Peñaredondo morphs into one of T.S. Eliot’s "sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown." This is her gorgeous incantation before and after the drowning. Listen.

Praise

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© 2020, Angela Peñaredondo

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