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SCAR ON / SCAR OFF: POEMS

$13.99 $12.60

With ‘I AM A REBEL LANGUAGE’ button.
Paperback, 80 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9991152-0-6

Jennifer Maritza McCauley’s ‘Scar On/Scar Off’ runs the borderlands of mestiza consciousness, by turns neon-lit and beating, defiant and clashing, searching and struggling, in fistfuls of recognition, in constant pursuit of intersections and dualities. Drawing on Audre Lorde, Gloria Anzaldua, Toni Morrison, Claudia Rankine, and the inspirations of her late friend Monica A. Hand, through polyglossia and hybrid text, McCauley evokes vividly the relationships between psyche and city, identity and language. In the rhythm and snap of these poems and fragmentary stories, we find echoes of Sarah Webster Fabio, Beyonce, flamenco, Nikki Giovanni, street slang, danger and hope. This is a profound collection, a rebel language.

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“McCauley’s debut collection of poems and prose immediately made me a fan. She wields ‘rebel language’ that goes straight for the heart and soul, weaving tales that make a reader shiver and sigh. She’s fearless, forthright, but never glib or gaudythis is honest writinga voice that is thrilling to witness. The truths this poet reveals are not pretty, but she handles them with an earned grace, a street-tested vibe. This collection is far more than ‘black girl magic,’it’s ‘black woman essential.’” Allison Joseph, author of Confessions of a Barefaced Woman

“This book! It moves and breathes and sings like a living organism. The pulse is vital, the insights sharp as a blade. Who speaks truth to power this way: ‘Tell them we been mournin’ bullet-warmed/ blood long before they told us: now this is how/ you interpret a death?’ Who strikes the page with such a necessary question: ‘how boring/is your/ego that my/darkface/still bothers/you/this much?’ Jennifer Martiza McCauley is the answer: an essential, undaunted, luminous new voice who carries within her many voices, many stories. Scar On/Scar Off is poetry that conjures and skewers our fractured zeitgeist.” —Julie Marie Wade, author of Catechism: A Love Story and When I Was Straight

“There is a type of loss that cannot be represented, though its feeling can be caught, like a yawn as wide as the place where endings meet beginnings. When I read Jennifer Maritza McCauley, I feel like I’m falling into myself, snagged on something I forgot to look at while I was busy mourning some other, closer loss. My hand is being guided across the page, salty words lapping up into my wounds. I remember I have lost something. I remember we have lost something, and I can see its outline, like the lips of an open mouth. Words spill back into it, reminding me why I first came to language.” —Raquel Salas Rivera, author of Caneca de anhelos turbios’ and ‘lo terciario/the tertiary

“McCauley’s poetry breaks my heart. It’s so, so fantastic.” —Joanna C. Valente, author of Marys of the Sea 

“McCauley’s poetry is the real deal! Fiercely feminine and exceedingly humane, ‘Scar On/Scar Off’ will surprise, delight, and then heal some part of you that you didn’t even know was hurting.” —Denise Duhamel, author of Blowout

“McCauley confidently narrates how a body, a black body ‘big as God and filled with all kinds of delicate weather’ navigates through this world while also inhabiting a brown body within. It is difficult to be in a bar alone, men beckoning. It is difficult to say Beyoncé videos make us teary-eyed. It is difficult to admit I am this, despite looking like this, and sounding like that. These poems ring all the sides of McCauley’s Afro-Latina experience as she writhes discomfort into deft introspection. McCauley’s work displays how black/brown skin has limits, complexities, a multiplicity of fears and joys. SCAR ON/SCAR OFF is a brave and necessary debut.” —F. Douglas Brown, author of Zero to Three

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POETRY