San Antonio Book Festival - Octavio Quintanilla
Courtesy of Octavio Quintanilla
Book Festival Author

Octavio Quintanilla

Octavio Quintanilla is the author of the poetry collection, If I Go Missing; the founder and director of the literature & arts festival, VersoFrontera; publisher of Alabrava Press, and former Poet Laureate of San Antonio, TX. His Frontextos (visual poems) have been published and exhibited widely. His new poetry collection, The Book of Wounded Sparrows, is forthcoming. He teaches Literature and Creative Writing at Our Lady of the Lake University. He is a contributor to Texas, Being: A State of Poems.

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Book by Octavio Quintanilla

  • Texas, Being: A State of Poems  by Octavio Quintanilla

    Texas, Being: A State of Poems

    "Texas, Being: A State of Poems" collects more than forty-five poems from a beautiful and brutal state. Some are about the music of their languages. Some speak to the dead, some to the sun, and others to omissions of history. One concerns a hedgehog cactus, and another a roller rink. From "Happy, Texas" to "Palestine, TX," from seashores to skeletons to Selena, all are in one way or another about Texas, but good poems are always about more than one thing.

    Selected by Jenny Browne, 2017 poet laureate of Texas, these poems draw a picture of one of America's vastly sublime yet most audaciously independent corners. In these diverse voices, the state is a lovely and painful contradiction of space and meaning. Texas is a place "where blind catfish cruise" and wild asters grow. It's a frame of mind where Jenny Boully writes "the history is unending" and Mexican American studies professor Christopher Carmona can "feel the slowness of time." Jorge Luis Borges wrote of it as "an endless plain / Where a man's cry dies a lonely death." Victoria Chang writes that "there is so / much sky that even birds / get lost."

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