In the Garden of the Bridehouse

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Through lyrical procedures of self-immolation, this brave new collection by J. Michael Martinez interrogates the sundry roles language, myth, and sexuality play for the self and the other in the recoverable and irrecoverable past. Parallel to his award-winning first collection Heredities, J. Michael Martinez pushes the boundaries of poetic form, wedding historically oppositional lyrical traditions to deliver a collection unlike any other.

Turning the page into a visual field, as in the deconstructed musical score telling the tale of La Llorona, In the Garden of the Bridehouse questions the line between visual art and poetry. The work employs the vernacular, the stylized language of theory, and the blank canvas of the page in its exploration of the known and unknowable.

Throughout the work, Martinez paradoxically exercises both a lyrical minimalism and a baroque poetic, uniting Mesoamerican preconquest imaginary with the sensuality of the Biblical Song of Songs, cultivating a lyrical space wherein contrasting potentials are—as one—realized in their shared promise.

“Martinez has essentially raised the bar for both the learned writer and the learned reader.”—Rigoberto González, author of Red-Inked Retablos

"A precarious altar. A mythopoeic, fractal grafting. In the Garden of the Bridehouse reseeds myths, languages, Americas."—Joe Hall, author of The Devotional Poems


“Martinez enlivens gender configurations, surpassing male-female dualities of natural and cultural conception, to construct a psychological space: an architecture of creation.”—Roberto Tejada, author of Full Foreground

“Self-portraits as anima, time-travel, wounded swans, In the Garden of the Bridehouse is a mutilated garden of Eden, one that more accurately represents our gender fractures, our material desires, our fall, and our arrival as song.”—Andrea Rexilius, author of Half of What They Carried Flew Away
In the Garden of the Bridehouse
104 Pages 6 x 9 Published: 2014 Paperback (9780816530892)
Ebook (9780816598670)

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