María Luisa Arroyo's Gathering Words/Recogiendo palabras gives a voice to the oppressed, the abused, and the forgotten. It speaks from the battered women's shelters and from inside homes that hide domestic violence and child abuse. Laying bare the stark realities of life with verses that are alternately elegant, blunt, and rich with vivid imagery, Arroyo writes with spine-tingling candor that does not allow us to deny the truth. Shaped by her family's background in Puerto Rican music, her poems are reminiscent of folk songs with their narrative storytelling and activist representation of the disenfranchised, disillusioned, and neglected. This is Arroyo's first full-length collection of poems.
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