Lima :: Limón

Natalie Scenters-Zapico

Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s second poetry collection is a lyrical exploration of the intersection between gender roles and desire on the US-México border. Set within the liminal geography of the poet’s hometowns of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and El Paso, Texas, Lima :: Limón fiercely questions machismo and marianismo, cultural norms that give way to gender violence and a blind eye turned to femicide. Drawing imagery and characters from songs commonly played in households along the border, Scenters-Zapico considers with fairy-tale strangeness how women live through violence to create a culture of their own, inside and outside of the domestic. In these poems, a speaker’s body transforms from flesh to wall to bug to bed, with the kind of magic it takes to survive what wants to kill you. Lima :: Limón makes the invisible visible, creating a loving tribute to women, ancestors, and all those whose labors of resilience go unsung.

ISBN: 9781556595318

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Natalie Scenters-Zapico is from the sister cities of El Paso, Texas, USA and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México. She is the author of The Verging Cities (Center For Literary Publishing 2015), winner of the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, the Great Lakes Colleges Associations New Writers Award, the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Book Award, and the Utah Book Award. She holds fellowships from the Lannan Foundation and CantoMundo, and is a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellow. She is …

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“Lyrically delivers the dignity, beauty, and contradictions of the borderlands, with attention to the power dynamics of gender, race, and history… Scenters-Zapico is one of the most talented bilingual poets writing today.” —Steven Alvarez

“Reading the book doesn’t make me feel better. It makes me weep with anger and frustration. It opens the wounds people try to ignore. It calls the ambulance.” ―Indiana Review

“Her poems in this collection are dark, visceral, haunting, and will echo for days in your mind…. Throughout, she builds and breaks down the boundaries of love, place, identity, and memory in ways that are unexpected, and uses them to great effect to write the political and engage us in the surreal violence of our time.” ―American Literary Review

“…a feat of exceptional pain and power.” —The Rumpus

“In these poems, the border is a powerful metaphor, but it is never merely trope; it is actual, political, damaging.” ―Kenyon Review

“With poems that are as intelligent as they are urgent, Natalie Scenters-Zapico offers a necessary poetic voice in these perilous times.” ―University of New Mexico English News & Notes

“[B]ooks like The Verging Cities must be not only written, but read―and read well. You will not win a staring contest with Natalie Scenters-Zapico; this poet cannot, and will not, look away.” ―American Microreviews and Interviews

“Scenters-Zapico’s writing is lyrical, sensual, and often painful; it will linger in your brain for a long time.” —Buzzfeed

This work represents social disruption in a way that only the most moving poetry can do… Lima :: Limón is filled with strong poems that disrupt binary structures and exemplify how poetry can move beyond aesthetic representation of tragedy.” —Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Blog  


Finalist, Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Award, 2020

Shortlist, Griffin International Poetry Prize, 2020

Finalist, Binghamton Center for Writers’ Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award, 2020