In his award-winning first book, J. Michael Martinez reenvisions Latino poetics and its current conceptions of cultural identity. In Heredities, he opens a historically ravaged continental body through a metaphysical dissection into Being and silence. The hand manipulates a surgical etymology through the spine: the longitude where "history gathers in the name we never are." The poems seek to speak beyond codified aesthetics and dictated identity politics in order to recognize a territory of "irreducible otherness" where the self's sinew may be "reeved through revelation" and where, finally, one finds "obscurity bonded to light." This stunning collection heralds the arrival of an important new voice in American poetry.
Born and raised in Greeley, Colorado, J. Michael Martinez has published poems in New American Writing, Five Fingers Review, Colorado Review, and Crab Orchard Review, among other journals. The recipient of the 2006 Five Fingers Review Poetry Prize and coeditor and cofounder of Breach Press, Martinez lives in Boulder, Colorado.