The Pink Box has been waiting for us. It has been waiting for our ears to see these poems, for our eyes to listen to them. Yesenia Montilla's poems cross fertilize space and time; linking the wilderness, the city, and an otherworld like a subway ride from uptown to downtown, cross town and back. Along the way, we don't just switch trains, we switch stations of desire: the Dominican Republic is the blues, Ayiti/Haiti is jazz, hip hop is abuelita. New York City begins on Hispaniola. Is it longing we hear? Or is it the crash of one island against another? Yes, there is yearning in these poems; for touch, for visibility, for a tongue not forgotten though not spoken, for bachata and merengue. And there is spirit; something unseen, called forth, like Dominican Gaga rooted in the bateyes, the sugar cane fields, of memory. Not only does Yesenia Montilla make a weaving of magic in these remarkable and tender poems, magic is its own holiness here. --Alexis De Veaux, author Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde & Yabo
Previous East End Ink programs include work by Yesenia Montilla and Kathy Engel:
Ms. Montilla’s poetry appeared in the chapbook For The Crowns of Your Head.
Kathy Engel’s work includes the poetry collection “Ruth’s Skirts” (from Ikon in 2007)
With Kamal Boulata she co-edited “We Begin Here: Poems for Palestine and Lebanon”.