Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes
Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, is pleased to announce Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes as the winner of the eighth edition of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, which supports the publication of a first book by a Latinx poet residing in the United States. The winning manuscript was selected by Ada Limón, whose citation reads:
A brutal, but necessary unveiling of violence and ghosts we carry with us daily, The Inheritance of Haunting sings the unbearable and still makes a claim for survival. These are intricate poems that are odes to the women who have come before us, odes to the women who have been silenced by fear, and odes to the “wreckage of centuries.” With language that is alive, inventive, sound-driven, and ricocheting with power, this is a fierce and breathtaking collection that risks calling for a great reckoning with our collective past.
Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes is a queer, disabled, mixed-race, second-generation Colombian immigrant, poet, artist, scholar, and activist. Her creative work has been published, exhibited, and performed in As/Us, Pank, Raspa, Word Riot, Feminist Studies, Huizache, the National Queer Arts Festival, The Sick Collective, the Bureau of General Services-Queer Division, SomArts, and Galería de la Raza, among other places. She was a semi-finalist for the 2017 92-Y/Unterburg Poetry Center Discovery Contest, and a semi-finals judge for the 2017 Youth Speaks/Brave New Voices National Poetry Slam Competition. Born in Arizona, and raised in California, she currently lives in Brooklyn.
Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes offered the following statement:
"We are incessantly subject to the ghost as an intrusion of histories of conquest and loss, their vociferations coursing in our mouths. Both liberating and terrifying, haunting is a gift, a mirror to our survival, our defiances, and that of generations before us. It is, too, a responsibility bestowed, for that which haunts us also entrusts us with what we will make of it all, urging us to labor, to conjure ungovernable life against the hold. It moves me, everyday, to be amidst an unyielding riot of poets, Latinx/a/o and otherwise, in this practice of summoning, of writing the world. Receiving the honor of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize is to be called further into this work, with those who dream against the violence and bear witness to the obstinate beauty of life—Montoya’s poetry itself lighting the way."
The Inheritance of Haunting is slated for publication in 2019 with University of Notre Dame Press.
Ada Limón designated Honorable Mention status to:
Before the Body
by Lauren Espinoza
When the Revolution Finally Comes
by Willy Palomo
Homeboys With Slipped Halos
by Michael Torres