South Texas Experience: Love Letters poetry book


In stock


A poetry book about the Rio Grande Valley, deep South Texas.
Love letters to the valley, maybe to you or the rain or roads or salt lakes or stillness or home or on not leaving.

Written by Noemi Martinez

South Texas Experience: Love Letters” is a poetry book by Noemi Martinez about the Rio Grande Valley in deep South Texas. The poems in the collection are described as “love letters” to the Valley, exploring the author’s connection to the place and the complexities of loving a place that has its own history of pain and struggle. Martinez, who is a queer Tejana/Xicana writer with Mexican and Caribbean roots, writes about the connection between affect and geo-political location, and the negotiations and tensions that come with that connection. The book is also described as an exploration of crip and queer time, and a portrayal of the sociological imagination. Martinez’s poetry is described as lyrical and drawing on personal, collective, and ecological struggles against structural violence. The book has been praised for its handling of these themes and for building the poetry from accounts of literary philosophers, current progressive media, and historical research.

“South Texas Experience: Love Letters” is a poignant and powerful collection of poems exploring themes of identity, belonging, and history in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Heavy influences of border history and the immigrant and refugee deaths that occur on the Mexico-Texas border are evident throughout. The author delves into their personal experiences growing up in the borderlands and the complex feelings of love, hate, and connection to the place they call home. Through themes of family, ancestry, and the cultural influences of the region, the book grapples with the complexities of being a person of Mexican and Caribbean descent in the United States. The book also touches on the themes of control and manipulation of history, and the importance of reclaiming and rewriting narratives. This is a must-read for poetry lovers and those interested in borderlands poetry and the complexities of identity.

A beautiful illustration of the epistemologies of home. South Texas Experience cuts across notions of crip and queer time from a queer Tejana/Xicana experience. Martinez starkly shows the connection between affect and geo-political location–and the negotiations and tensions that live in this connection that the sociological imagination cannot capture.

Magda García

Noemi Martinez’s new collection holds epistolary poems expressing the ambiguities of passion for the “longest lover”–our bond with place. Like in human relationships, these bonds are ambivalent, and as Noemi’s poems reveal, they are particularly so in South Texas. —I am drawn into her poetry by its lyrical handling of personal, collective and ecological struggle against the structural violence of a state played out in a region that compels one’s “retorno” like a lover. Martinez builds her poetry from the accounts of literary-philosophers, current progressive media, and historical research.

Kamala Platt is a poet, activist and independent scholar.

If you are purchasing “South Texas Experience: Love Letters” for a library or other institution and have access to financial institutional resources, please contact the author for special pricing and to request a custom listing.

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Noemi Martinez is a poet and writer with a diverse background, blending Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage. They identify as queer and disabled, and are also skilled in mixed media art. As a single parent raising two children, Martinez resides in a family with multiple disabilities in the deep South Texas region. For the past two decades, they have dedicated themselves to creating, publishing, teaching, and discussing their work as a zine creator. Martinez’s unique perspective and experiences inform their poetry and writing, making them a valuable voice in the literary community.

Mexican descent
United States
Borderlands poetry