Celebrating the release of Cruel Futures, City Lights Spotlight Series No. 17. Opening reading by Barbara Jane Reyes. A Latina feminist State of the Union address at the intersection of pop culture and interiority.
Cruel Futures, the fifth collection from Latinx feminista Carmen Giménez Smith, is a witchy confessional and wildly imagistic volume that examines subjects as divergent as Alzheimers, Medusa, mumblecore, and mental illness in sharp-witted, taut poems dense with song. Chronicling life on an endangered planet, in a country on the precipice of profound change compelled by a media machine that produces our realities, the book is a high-energy analysis of popular culture, as well as an exploration of the many social roles that women occupy as mother, daughter, lover, and the resulting struggle to maintain personhood—all in a late capitalist America. Like Joanne Kyger, Giménez Smith deploys humor while depicting the quotidian and its function as sacrament.