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ABOUT Rebecca Balcarcel


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Daughter of a Guatemalan father and Anglo mother, Rebecca Balcarcel took her MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars in 2002 and received their Jane Kenyon Poetry Prize. She teaches creative writing at Tarrant County College where she serves as Associate Professor of English. Her work has appeared in more than thirty journals, including North American Review, Concho River Review, Oklahoma Review, Segue, and South Dakota Review. Trilobite Press published Ferry Crossing, a chapbook of her poems, in 2002.

Pecan Grove Press

Palabras in Each Fist
by Rebecca Balcarcel

ISBN: 978-1-931247-69-6 $15

“Through the power and transcendence of art, Balcarcel bridges the turbulent waters of a life pulled between two cultures, Guatemalan and American, and two languages, Spanish and English. She imbues her poems with powerful emotional honesty, and the language she employs, with consummate artistry, is as natural, lucid, and unadorned as the purity of the lives whose essence she penetrates to the core. She writes of her father, her mother, and her grandmother she sees in her own brown hands. She writes of the salsas and boleros of crepe myrtles; of a lake which “…laps no-yes-yes / against the bank.” And she writes of love, both of its fullness when it is shared and of the longing sure to follow when it languishes unrequited.
These poems are riveting and unforgettable, leaving the reader redeemed through the acceptance of the self, radiant “in the bright holiness of now.”

—Larry D. Thomas
2008 Texas Poet Laureate


Every morning he buys a paper
and turns to page three over coffee.
He scans the sea before him.
His son is learning i and he finds one.
He steps on i's across two columns.
He finds capital I and walks the shape
in his mind: a street with two dead ends,
the short alley between birth point and death,
a bar propping apart two unknowns
that would otherwise spring shut.



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