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Eyewear Publishing

Cantadora - Letters From California

Cantadora - Letters From California

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By Linda Ravenswood

Poetry - Paperback


Celebrated poet Linda Ravenswood presents 44 hybrid texts which read as maps, diary entries, manifestos, dream fragments, and lists. Her branching perspective of the 500+ years span of the (so-called) Conquest of Mexico by Cortés and the Spanish army (1521-present) explores reverberations across landscapes & cultures of the American West that are still being navigated. The voices explore past, present, & future histories of those who dwell in the West. Some histories explored include WWII Holocaust survivors of Los Angeles, relocated NDN children of the 19th century, Chontales people of the Yucatán encountering ships of Cortés, border blurring, intersectional feminism, and 21st-century balancing acts of Latinidad. This extraordinary collection is a tour de force of poetic craft, colonial sensitivity, intellect, and conscience.

Linda Ravenswood is a mixed Indigenous, Mestiza, European & Jewish scholar & performance artist from California. Recent publications include XLA Poets (Hinchas Press, 2021) & The Stan Poems (Pedestrian Press, 2022). She is the founder & editor-in-chief at The Los Angeles Press. Find her at


Poet Linda Ravenswood’s new book gathers 44 “hybrid texts,” words and concrete page poems that she describes as alternately maps, diary entries, manifestos, dream fragments, and lists. Ravenswood has a special gift for merging personal lived experience with an expanded context of centuries of land stewardship, invasion, colonization, layered thefts, imposed borders, environmental exploitation, trauma, revenge, and the rush of rediscovered, re-centered identities and histories — as well as narrative and more experimental forms of modern composition. Switching stylistic voices and macro/micro perspectives on the political and spiritual events that shape us, Ravenswood communicates something essential about California in these writings, having to do with the difference between its own facts and fictions. - LA Weekly


A beautiful book, full rapture. A heartbeat of California -- a full throttle must read!"Allison Hedge Coke, author of Dog Road Woman, poet & professor

"Linda Ravenswood reminds us that our selfhood is woven of disparate strands: bloodlines & memory, culture & history, nature & the wreckage of dominion. She thrusts us into the midst of these entwined & dynamic filaments, demands we sift through the rush of it. she invites us to contemplate the “gentle absurd differences/ between poems & hieroglyphs,” all signs to be decoded. In the end, the book is an act of reclamation: “i become/something that is not vanished.
" — Terry Wolverton, poet and author of Insurgent Muse: Life and Art at the Woman's Building

"Linda Ravenswood paints with words that move minds, hearts, & mountains. A true poet in a true poet’s constellation." Luis J. Rodriguez, poet laureate of Los Angeles, author of La Vida Loca

"shifting, phantasmagorical, & ecstatic. Equal parts history & worship, this is a collection that sees the complexity of the world and refuses not to love it. a screed of lost words, grappling with indigeneity & language, of children, lost in immigration detention before ever arriving, of sacred chants, calling-in both ancestors & future generations. “Let’s imagine other people,” it seems to say, “let’s splash around in their unimaginable-ness,” it teases, “let’s imagine anyway. Imagine seriously. Imagine hard.” To imagine, Ravenswood turns to the grand & small stories of history, to the specificity of the present moment, & to the rhythms of song and prayer." Brian Sonia-Wallace, poet / activist, author of The Poetry of Strangers
"A powerful collection that pierces the liminal space between survival & devotion. Linda Ravenswood explores identity—who is the self if we do not look like the people we came from? Her stunning collection is filled with genetic memories from a mixed & diverse heritage, told from the unique perspective of both insider & outsider. a declarative wonder, a testament to inclusivity."
Jennifer Lewis, editor of Red Light Lit

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