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October 29, 2023 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
In-Person: An Afternoon with Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein) & Caridad Moro-Gronlier
Books & Books presents…
AN AFTERNOON WITH LISA B (LISA BERNSTEIN)
& CARIDAD MORO-GRONLIER
performing poetry from their books
God in Her Ruffled Dress
(What Books Press)
(Texas Review Press, $19.95)
Sunday, October 29, 4:00 PM | Books & Books, Coral Gables
Books & Books is delighted to present an afternoon of poetry performances by Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein) and Caridad Caridad Moro-Gronlier. They will be performing poetry from their books God in Her Ruffled Dress (What Books Press) and Tortillera (Texas Review Press, $19.95)
This event is FREE and open to the public and books will be available for purchase the night of the event! Please RSVP only if you intend to join us.
About God in Her Ruffled Dress
God in Her Ruffled Dress explores the human/divine interface – body and spirit, illness and wellness, temporal and eternal – in inventive, thoughtful, musical poems. Here erotic desire is central, feminist awareness is inherent, gender is many-faceted, and the lyrical impulse predominant.
Bookended by two poem-prayers, the book’s four sections move from healing to creating: “Return to the Body” spans poems on Lisa B’s longstanding type 1 diabetes, Biblical scripture, and spiritual transformation. “Drum the Beginning of the World” focuses on homages to jazz masters and poems on the author’s own practice as a vocalist. “Sever the Head” extends these themes in poems inspired by pandemic politics. Finally, “Propagate” probes love, sensuality, birth, and death.
A music video for one of the poems in the new book, “Some Things To Do with Pain”:
The TRP Southern Poetry Breakthrough Series: Florida
The word tortillera means lesbian in Español. The moniker is familiar to most Spanish speaking cultures, but especially particular to the Cuban experience. In most Cuban-American households to be called a tortillera (whether one is one or not) is the gravest of insults, the basest of adjectives, a cat call that whips through the air like a lash whose only intention is to wound, to scar. Many a first-generation, Cubanita (the ones who are into other girls, anyway) has suffered, denied, wailed over the loaded term, but in Caridad Moro-Gronlier’s debut collection, Tortillera, she not only applies the term to herself, she owns it, drapes it over her shoulders and heralds her truth through candid, unflinching poems that address the queer experience of coming out while Cuban.
The first half of the book immediately plunges the reader into the speaker’s Cuban-American life on-the-hyphen through vivid, first person narratives that draw one in, making the reader privy to the moments that mold the speaker’s experience: marginalization at a teacher-parent conference; the socioeconomic distinctions at assorted Quinceañera celebrations; a walk down the aisle toward divorce amid a back drop of wedding registries and Phen-Phen fueled weight-loss; post-partum depression; a peek into a No-Tell motel that does tell of the affair she embarks upon with her first female lover; the agony of divorce vs. the headiness of sex and lust; the evolution of an identity in verse.
Part reckoning, part renewal, part redemption, part rebirth, the poems in Tortillera come clean, but more than that, they guide, reveal and examine larger considerations: the role of language on gender its subsequent roles, the heartrending consequences of compulsory heterosexuality, as well as the patriarchal stamp emblazoned on the Cuban diaspora. The work contained in Tortillera befits its audacious title—bold, original and utterly without shame.
The Signature Series comprises signed, numbered, limited edition, hardcover reprints of select titles from the TRP backlist. Books in this series feature clothbound covers with foil stamping and exclusive cover designs, which are variants to the standard paperback edition. Each book in the Signature Series is limited to 100 hand-numbered copies.
About the Authors:
Lisa B (Lisa Bernstein)’s new volume of poems is God in Her Ruffled Dress (What Books Press). Her previous poetry books are The Transparent Body (Wesleyan University Press) and Anorexia (chapbook, Five Fingers Poetry). Her poems have appeared in more than 60 anthologies and periodicals, including City Lights Review, Field, Kenyon Review, Lilith, Ploughshares, Poetry International, Tikkun, and Zyzzyva. She has won creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Headlands Center for the Arts, Ucross Foundation, and others. Lisa B is also a jazz and groove singer interweaving spoken and sung verse in her original songs and re-envisioned standards. She has released seven albums and various singles (available on all music platforms) to critical acclaim and international radio play, and she performs with her band throughout the country. She also works as a professional psychic reader.
Caridad Moro-Gronlier is a community driven South Florida poet and the author of Tortillera: Poems, (Texas Review Press, 2021) winner of the TRP Southern Poetry Breakthrough Prize, a 2022 International Latino Book Award Honorable Mention, a 2022 Eric Hoffer Book Award Honorable Mention, and a 2022 First Horizon Award Finalist, as well as Visionware published was by Finishing Line Press (2009) as part of its New Women’s Voices Series.She is the Series Editor of From the Writer’s Room, Miami New Tropic, Editor of Grabbed: Poets and Writers Respond to Sexual Assault, Empowerment and Healing (Beacon Press, 2020) and the Associate Editor for “SWWIM Every Day”, an online daily poetry journal for women identifying poets, and its accompanying SWWIM Reading Series. She resides in Miami with her family.