Deborah Paredez: A Reading From Year of the Dog: Poems

Year of the Dog refers to the year 1970 – the Year of the Metal Dog in the lunar calendar – which was the year of the author’s birth, the […]


Deborah Paredez: A Reading From Year of the Dog: Poems

Authors:Leslie Sainz, Deborah Paredez


Year of the Dog refers to the year 1970 – the Year of the Metal Dog in the lunar calendar – which was the year of the author’s birth, the year her father prepared to deploy to Vietnam along with many other Mexican-American immigrant soldiers, and a year of tremendous upheaval across the United States. Images from iconic photographs and her father’s snapshots are incorporated, fragmented, scrutinized, and reconstructed throughout the collection as Deborah Paredez recalls untold stories from a war that changed her family and the nation. In poems and lamentations that evoke Hecuba, the mythic figure so consumed by grief over the atrocities of war that she was transformed into a howling dog, and La Llorona, the weeping woman in Mexican folklore who haunts the riverbanks in mourning and threatens to disturb the complicity of those living in the present, Paredez recontextualizes the Vietnam era, from the arrest of Angela Davis to the haunting image of Mary Ann Vecchio at the Kent State Massacre, never forgetting the outcry and outrage that women’s voices have carried across time.

Moderated by poet Leslie Sainz.

Sponsored by:

Leslie Sainz

Leslie Sainz is a first-generation Cuban-American, born and raised in Miami, Florida. A 2019 National Poetry Series Finalist, she received her MFA in poetry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of Devil’s Lake. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from AGNI, jubilat, Narrative, Black Warrior Review, Ninth Letter, Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Journal, and others. She’s received scholarships, fellowships, and residencies from CantoMundo, The Miami Writers Institute, The Adroit Journal, and The Stadler Center for Poetry at Bucknell University.

Deborah Paredez

Deborah Paredez is a poet, performance scholar, and cultural critic. She is author of the critical study, Selenidad: Selena, Latinos, and the Performance of Memory and of the poetry collection This Side of Skin. Her writing has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Boston Review, and the anthology, Inheriting the War: Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees. She also serves as Series Co-Editor of the CantoMundo Poetry Book Prize awarded annually to a collection by a Latinx poet. The title of Deborah Paredez’s second poetry collection refers to the year 1970–the “year of the Metal Dog” in the lunar calendar. It was the year of her birth, the year her father prepared to deploy to Vietnam along with many other Mexican-American immigrant soldiers, and a year of tremendous upheaval across the United States. Images from iconic photographs and her father’s snapshots are incorporated, fragmented, scrutinized, and reconstructed throughout Year of the Dog (BOA Editions) as Paredez recalls untold stories from a war that changed her family and the nation. In poems and lamentations, Paredez recontextualizes historical moments of the Vietnam era, never forgetting the outcry and outrage that women’s voices have carried across time. Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, noted “Paredez has a gift for storytelling through form. This is an astonishing book.”

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