Backyard Migration Route
Backyard Migration Route (Finishing Line Press, 2011) is a poetry chapbook that explores literal and figurative borders from Pérez's childhood in South Texas.
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Praise for Backyard Migration Route:
Backyard Migration Route constructs an American consciousness through a series of delicately tuned lyrics. Hybridity and border crossing are not so much examined as created by these interlocking poems, which refuse to lock into a single culture, a single ethnicity, a fixed identity or a mapped landscape. The brilliance and complexity of this collection of "inbetweeness" lies in its deft ownership of a landscape’s history, a father’s anxiety, a culture’s racism, an unaccented name, just for starters.
--Claudia Rankine, author of Don’t Let Me Be Lonely and Citizen
Informed by sound, formed in the mind, Backyard Migration Route traces the landscape of the American West. Autobiography, geography, literary criticism and even mathematics weave together. School yourself with these far-ranging poems about growing up between languages and cultures.
---Kazim Ali, author of The Far Mosque and Bright Felon
"The burn must be my voice, the words / I cannot say." And so Emily Perez "writ[es] it all down" in what feels like a compact family epic. The vivid language, tightly woven, and the inventive use of rhyme make for a marriage of subject and form where ambivalence toward one’s "heritage" seems to be an undercurrent of tension—one where the poet "entwine[s] two parts of [a] nation." At its core, then, Backyard Migration Route is a story of mestizaje. That is, a quintessential American poem.
—Francisco Aragón, author of Puerta del Sol, editor of The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry