Selected by Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet Greg Pardlo for the 2019 Larry Levi's Prize in Poetry
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“Gentefication” nuances Latinidad as not just an immigration question, but an academic one. It deals with Latinx death not as the literal passing of bodies, but as first tied with language. It asks, what are the hauntings of a tongue that is repeatedly told, ‘one must learn English in order to succeed in this country’? What is the psychological trauma deployed not by right-wing bigots, but of white liberal institutions that give scholarships to Latinx students, but nevertheless prop up white supremacy by viewing their payments as charity? How do Latinx students become complicit in this tokenizing? “Gentefication” wrestles with this ‘survivor’s guilt’ of higher education, of feeling as if you’re the only one among your homies that ‘made it.’ And in an American moment dealing with scandals across multiple universities, this work is a timely intervention that advocates for first-generation audiences, for readers of color, and for all those vested in the protracted struggle for our fair shot.
ABOUT THE POET
Antonio de Jesús López has received scholarships to attend the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, Tin House, the Vermont Studio Center, and Bread Loaf. He is a proud member of the Macondo Writers Workshop and a CantoMundo Fellow. He holds degrees from Duke University, Rutgers-Newark, and the University of Oxford. He is pursuing a PhD in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford University. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in PEN/America, Insider Higher Education, Palette Poetry, The New Republic, Tin House, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. His debut poetry collection, Gentefication, was selected by Gregory Pardlo as the winner of the 2019 Levis Prize in Poetry. Antonio is currently fighting gentrification in his hometown as the newest and youngest councilmember for the City of East Palo Alto.
Writer's Conference in Portland, Oregon called "Tinhouse Writer's Conference"
Summer of 2018