Guillotine

Longlist, National Book Awards 2020 for Poetry

ISBN 9781644450307
Graywolf Press
Eduardo C. Corral 

Eduardo C. Corral is the author of Slow Lightning, winner of the Yale Younger Poets Prize, and a recipient of a Whiting Award and the Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. He teaches at North Carolina State University. More about this author >

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From the publisher:

Guillotine traverses desert landscapes cut through by migrants, the grief of loss, betrayal’s lingering scars, the border itself—great distances in which violence and yearning find roots. Through the voices of undocumented immigrants, border patrol agents, and scorned lovers, award-winning poet Eduardo C. Corral writes dramatic portraits of contradiction, survival, and a deeply human, relentless interiority. With extraordinary lyric imagination, these poems wonder about being unwanted or renounced. What do we do with unrequited love? Is it with or without it that we would waste away?

In the sequence “Testaments Scratched into a Water Station Barrel,” with Corral’s seamless integration of Spanish and English, poems curve around the surfaces upon which they are written, overlapping like graffiti left by those who may or may not have survived crossing the border. A harrowing second collection, Guillotine solidifies Corral’s place in the expanding ecosystem of American poetry.

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