Museum of the Americas

Museum of the Americas Review

Longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry

Winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series Competition, selected by Cornelius Eady--an exploration in verse of imperial appropriation and Mexican American cultural identity

"Marvelous, argumentative, and curiosity-provoking" -- The New York Times Book Review


The poems in J. Michael Martinez's third collection of poetry circle around how the perceived body comes to be coded with the trans-historical consequences of an imperial narrative. Engaging beautiful and otherworldly Mexican casta paintings, morbid photographic postcards depicting the bodies of dead Mexicans, the strange journey of the wood and cork leg of General Santa Anna, and Martinez's own family lineage, Museum of the Americas gives accounts of migrant bodies caught beneath, and fashioned under, a racializing aesthetic gaze. Martinez questions how "knowledge" of the body is organized through visual perception of that body, hypothesizing the corporeal as a repository of the human situation, a nexus of culture. Museum of the Americas' poetic revives and repurposes the persecuted ethnic body from the appropriations that render it an art object and, therefore, diposable.

Title:Museum of the Americas

    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Roxane

    This is a fascinating, layered collection of poetry that blurs genre in some really interesting ways. Martinez offers, as the title suggests, a museum of the Americas, and especially engages with Mexi...

  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)

    This poetry collection, while on the NBA longlist, did not make the shortlist. There are some excellent poems here, but a few that played with form were not as good to me. Many of the poems, however, ...

  • Kathleen

    My review for the New York Times Book Review: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/14/bo...During the European Renaissance, men of wealth and learning put together cabinets of curiosities. The contents con...

  • Jackie

    Stunning and haunting, a must-read collection. ...

  • Milkman3367

    A moving collection of poems. 'Where Love is Ground to Wheat' is particularly memorable....

  • Jamie

    In “Lord Spanglish Me,” J. Michael Martinez writes, “Spanglish mi lengua para ti/ that I may break open the promise-space of my fear, & /become ladder;” a line that represents the heart of his...

  • Mills College Library

    811.6 M3856m 2018...