Associate Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages, Jennifer Rathbun, together with the coeditor, Associate Professor of Spanish and Chair of the Department of Modern and Foreign Languages at Ohio Wesleyan University, Juan Armando Rojas Joo, just recently published their bilingual (Spanish/English) anthology of poetry,
Sangre mía/Blood of Mine:
Poetry of Border Violence, Gender
and Identity in Ciudad Juárez,
as part of the Center for Latin American Studies Collection of the UP of New Mexico State University. The fifty-three poets featured in the publication denounce violence in general, and, in particular, committed against women along the U.S. – Mexico border region of Ciudad Juárez – El Paso, TX.
The voices of the fifty-three poets included in the anthology best represent the poetic response to violence and femicide in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Their verses make a stand against the indifference, neglect and impunity and they offer their readers alternatives to the simulacra of official discourse surrounding violence in Chihuahua. In fact, the poet, Susana Chavéz, featured in the collection fell victim to the very femicide she denounced. Susana was a writer, social activist and media blogger who was best known for coining the phrase “Ni una muerta más” used in the social campaigns against femicide in Ciudad Juárez. The only poem she ever officially published in life appeared in Canto a una ciudad en el desierto (México, D.F.: Ediciones La Cuadrilla de la Langosta, 2004), “Blood of mine”, whose title she later changed in her blog spot to “Blood of ours”. She was brutally murdered in January 2011. Authorities claimed that she had been partying with young men and held her responsible for her own murder. Susana Chavéz was laid to rest with the verses of her poem and her blood has truly become blood of ours. The title of this anthology Sangre mía…/Blood of Mine… pays homage to Susana and hopes to bring her message of peace to many more readers by offering a bilingual en face edition of these verses for the very first time.