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Dove Over Clouds

Yolanda Nieves

 


Nieves has blessed us with a cacophony of magical verse; conjure and spells that give us clarity about the experiences of women, mothers, and immigrants. They give us new ways of understanding loss, love, and redemption. By reading and re-reading these poems, we not only bear witness to Nieves' growth as a woman, warrior, and writer, but we, in turn, grow ourselves. Así!

Randee Lipson Lawrence, Ed. D., National-Louis University

Yolanda Nieves has woven an elaborate tapestry of dreams, memories, desire, and most importantly, love. Her voice is that of a priestess -- the conjure woman who has not only lived life, but one who has been trained by it as well. She opens sus manos, su coraz—n, y su boca for us, and her transformative verses breathe life into our weary souls. Writing with passion and candor, Nieves teaches us that it is always okay to go home, even if it is only with the mind's eye. For it is only by confronting the past, that we are free to move on.

When I was a child
I lived as a dove . . . .

There I puffed my breast
full of quiet flowing

flapped out the ache of sadness with my eyes
prayed myself into a morning . . .

We travel with her through urban streets, across the ocean, and into the heart and soul of Puerto Rico. It is there that we move and are moved by ancestral spirits and Nieves' muses who help her tell her story and those of her people. These verses -- their stories --demonstrate the healing power of the written and spoken word. Yet more than that, Nieves shows us that invoking our memories and those of our ancestors can lead to great transformation and our own agency.

Patricia Williams Lessane, Ph.D, Wright College

ISBN: 978-1-891386-67-1. $14.95

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