Did you notice how the title uses “childrens” instead of “children”? I did that on purpose to show that this book and its title poem is for children of color, my children, my childrens. I have two boys who sometimes get in trouble, and part of being a parent is to worry. As a person of color, there is an additional worry. I fear that all the negative messages about being shades of brown will end up etched on my children’s bodies. I worry that all these messages will lead my children to believe that they are less than stardust. And by children I don’t mean just my two boys, but all of you. My childrens. So this book.
My Childrens is a chapbook that includes teaching resources. With My Childrens I hope to bring Latinx poetry into the classroom so that students can explore poetry, identity, and what it means to be Latinx in US society. Each poem in the collection is accompanied by a nonfiction comment, a writing prompt, comprehension questions, and “Look It Up!” suggestions. Adela Najarro
"Innovative, engaging, and cheerful, this highly readable book invokes the spirit of Mina Shaughnessy in its positive regard for developmental writers. The authors make a powerful case against a 'deficit-based' view of developmental instruction in favor of a long view that values each learner’s unique gifts, intellectual capacity, and potential for growth. The theoretically grounded and effectively scaffolded chapters are loaded with class tested assignments for teaching the 'habits of mind' needed for college and job success. A collaborative effort of fifteen veteran teachers of developmental English and math, this must-read book will help any teacher create a transformative classroom that promotes engagement, curiosity, motivation, risk-taking, self-efficacy, and persistence."
John C. Bean, Professor of English (Emeritus), Seattle University; Author of Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom. 2ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011
"For its eye of the all-seeing crocodile half in dark waters and half in the prey-light of death and hunger, for its electric rush of love, its gambles with destiny, for its deep knowledge of borderlessness, the slippage of love and dissolution into something like Mystery makes this collection a rare magic. And perhaps, because of its woman eye, illusory skin, bleached colors and its various upside-down taboos where words and love-deeds are “hechas para atrás / pushed aside,” I commend this book. It is a surreal mathematics, a travelogue to ancestors, a gypsy’s deck of last-breath, plotting flowers ditching toward the sun. A tour de force, magnificent, lovely, sculpted, drenched with Borges, Sexton, Najarro. A radically new Latina verse."
Juan Felipe Herrera
Poet Laureate of California
"Between Nicaragua and the United States lives the Country of Spirit. This is where poet Adela Najarro breathes a world fresh and merciful with words that spring from the heart of our troubled lands, our families and our desire to love. I applaud her vital, luminescent and transcendent understanding that Mystery can be shared and understood, poem by poem. Embrace her work, for it is our future." Denise Chávez
“Split Geography is a marvelous shifting between Nicaragua and the States, between the mangos and Michigan’s ice angels, between histories and national boundaries. Adela’s poems are compelling pastiches that contemplate the everyday wonders that arrive in small packages, as well as our sorrows that trumpet loudly into the future.” RICHARD BLANCO
"Split Geography covers vast tracts of land and multiple countries in language that heals as it explores both internal and external rifts. The vagaries of love, and the need to love oneself and others (in all their rich complexity) surface in poem after poem. The personality that emerges from this collection is funny, poignant, irascible, and above all, in love with the promise that writing can be a spiritual exercise to re-make ourselves. These are poems to live among." DAVID A. SULLIVAN