Borderland Apocrypha

Finalist, National Book Awards 2020 for Poetry

ISBN 9781632430762
Omnidawn Publishing
Anthony Cody

Anthony Cody is the author of Borderland Apocrypha, winner of the 2018 Omnidawn Open Book Prize selected by Mei-mei Berssenbrugge. He is a CantoMundo fellow from Fresno, California. His poetry has appeared in Gulf Coast, Ninth Letter, The Boiler, ctrl+v journal, among others. More about this author >

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From the publisher:

The 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo marked an end to the Mexican-American War, but it sparked a series of lynchings of Mexicans and subsequent erasures, and long-lasting traumas. This pattern of state-sanctioned violence committed towards communities of color continues to the present day. Borderland Apocrypha centers around the collective histories of these terrors, excavating the traumas born of turbulence at borderlands. In this debut collection, Anthony Cody responds to the destabilized, hostile landscapes and silenced histories of borderlands. His experimental poetic reinvents itself and shapeshifts in both form and space across the margin, the page, and the book in forms of resistance, signaling a reclamation and a re-occupation of what has been omitted. The poems ask the reader to engage in searching through the nested and cascading series of poems centered around familial and communal histories, structural racism, and natural ecosystems of borderlands. Relentless in its explorations, this collection shows how the past continues to inform actions, policies, and perceptions in North and Central America.

Judges Citation

By unpacking legal documents, historical photographs, and newspaper archives, and then synthesizing his insights with his own experiences with racism and prejudice, Anthony Cody’s Borderland Apocrypha offers a stunning portrait of the un-neighborly relationship between the U.S. and Mexico. This powerful work of avant-garde docupoetics bears witness to the uncomfortable stories that fortified American expansionism and capitalism—oppressive systems of power whose unjust treatment of the Mexican people continues to resonate into the present.