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Everyday Chica Paperback – August 23, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


The everyday chica in Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes' Everyday Chica is Jersey girl, disco queen, and quinceanera as well as keen cultural critic. Rodriguez Milanes came of age within and apart from two cultural traditions, and her all-too-brief collection of coming-of-age poems takes us from New Jersey to Cuba and back again, with forays into family and cultural history, in language which is exuberant, funny, and tender. --Stephanie Brown

Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes cuts away at long-time standing myths and masks of Cuban@being: the internal and external colonalismos. We read about the exiles, nostalgias, body fantasias, and all those nasty anthro--love turista inventories. Yet, there is love, prayer, a deep caress of mainland and isla and most of all, of self--'without conditions. ' Applaud this tender fire coming at you spoken and sparkling. --Juan Felipe Herrera

'The seed of exile sprouted me,' writes Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes in Everyday Chica, and her poems examine that seed and its shoots. The poems take us on a journey of generations, a 'reverse exodus' from the poet's ancestry in Cuba to growing up Cuban American, a poetic archeology which which she works to unearth 'the right language,' something worked for, earned, and jarred loose from the culture she embraces and interrogates. These are poems that address the importance of speaking the truth, but its the sinking into grief that polishes them into a starshine of papayas, sapote and 'the old neighborhood.' The seed Rodrigues Milanes explores bears 'a mighty magnet' of fruit tended by 'careful hands' that ultimately show us how we can each find a home, even amidst our various wanderings. --George Kalamaras

About the Author

Cecelia Rodriguez Milanes was born in New Jersey to Cuban parents. At age 14, she moved with her family to Miami where she earned a BA in English Creative Writing/English from the University of Miami and a Masters at Barry University. She married in Miami and then moved to upstate New York where she studied writing with Toni Morison at the State University of New York at Albany. She lives with her partner and children in Orlando where she has taught writing and literature at the University of Central Florida since 1999. Her first collection of stories, Marielitos, Balseros, and Other Exiles was published in 2009.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Longleaf Press at Methodist University; 1st edition (August 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982929005
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982929001
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #759,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Cecilia Rodriguez Milanes was born in New Jersey to Cuban parents. The family moved to Miami where she attended high school and college. She studied writing with Isaac Singer at the University of Miami and with Toni Morrison at the State University of New York at Albany. She teaches Latino/a Literature and writing at the University of Central Florida in Orlando where she lives with her family. She has published a collection of short stories, Marielitos, Balseros and Other Exiles, a chapbook of poems, Everyday Chica and a spoken word CD, Everyday Chica, Music and More.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By L. Cherciu on July 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés's chapbook is full of exuberance, enthusiasm, and energy. The Longleaf Press Poetry Prize for 2010, "Everyday Chica" describes the journey of a Cuban-American girl in the process of self-discovery. From the gritty cityscape in poems such as "Back when I was an Exile" to the nostalgia in the portrayal of the father in "Cultivation," Rodríguez Milanés excels in her syncopated music and dynamic dropped line. The last poem in the book, "Cuban American Manifesto," is a happy marriage between "Howl" and "Puerto Rican Obituary."
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