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ESL or You Weren’t Here
Aldrin Valdez

2018 • 112 pp. 6 x 8 1/4"

$16.95 Paperback, 978-1-937658-86-1

An exciting debut collection of poems that presents a portrait of the poet as witness to, & healer of, their child self

ESL or You Weren’t Here tells the story of a queer Pinoy who immigrates to New York in the 1990s in order to be reunited with their parents. What follows is the poet’s awakening to the legacy of American imperialism & colonialism in the Philippines, and to the experience of living between languages, cultures, temporalities, and genders—untranslatable. ESL asks the reader to bear witness to embodied histories of forced immigration, separation and abandonment rooted in patriarchal racism.

Reviews / Endorsements

“Aldrin Valdez’s work / feels like a playful puzzle / of one thing for the other / an object becomes human / part of /replacement / is maybe the fantasy / to feel less pain in loss / to borrow the function of the telephone / and stretch it out / so that people travel closer / keep us company”—Ariel Goldberg

ALDRIN VALDEZ is a Pinoy writer and visual artist based in Brooklyn, New York.

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 12:14:32 -0500