A South Side Girl’s Guide to Love & Sex

Trade Paper – $19.95

ISBN 978-1-882688-56-2
Publication Date
April 2018
Categories
Page Count
80 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9
ISBN
1-882688-56-2

A South Side Girl’s Guide to Love & Sex

Poems
Mayda Del Valle

“This brilliant collection of poems charts the story of immigration, of family, of place, politics, identity, and the complex nomadic hybrid diasporic identities of the 21st century. It is built around the four elements of hip-hop: MC’ing which we think of as Rap; B Boying, what you think of Dance; Graffiti writing which covers the visuals; and DJing, which covers composition and change. It flirts dangerously with access—at once surprising readers with unexpected slant rhymes, colloquial turns of phrase juxtaposed at seeming odds and even the occasional dip into cliché—all aimed at establishing a larger conversation with a more varied audience than lyric poetry. This risk is something that all fans of Larry Levis will understand: the delicate and precise skill of leaning up against but never spilling into sentimentality. With poems that are funny, elegiac, political and textured by Bomba, Salsa and Hip-Hop, this is a vivid, beautiful, breathtaking, moving and profound book. I can’t recommend it enough.”—Chris Abani, author of Sanctificum and GraceLand. 

As a child of Puerto Rican migrants on Chicago’s Southside, Mayda’s Del Valle’s poetry utilizes part Spanish and English, part hip-hop and salsa, part Nas and Sonia Sanchez, part Shakespeare and John Leguizamo. It is inherited history as well as traditions remixed and invented.

Del Valle creates autobiographical narratives that utilize spoken word poetry and music, intended equally for the page and live performance. Rooted in the aesthetics of hip-hop and the urban Latino experience, the poems here explore themes of healing, transformation, and the recovery of ancestral memory in the modern-day diaspora. The beauty of this collection is that the poet manages to curate the flow such that the reader can DJ the poems—arrange their own set and thus, to borrow a phrase from that system, “spin” their own performance.
About the Author

Mayda Del Valle is the author of “The University of Hip Hop” and a winner of the 2016 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize from Northwestern University Press. She appeared on six episodes of the HBO series Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry, and was a contributing writer and original cast member of the Tony Award winning Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. A gifted performer, Del Valle has read her work at venues all over the world including the White House.
 
Reviews

“This brilliant collection of poems charts the story of immigration, of family, of place, politics, identity, and the complex nomadic hybrid diasporic identities of the 21st century. It is built around the four elements of hip-hop: MC’ing which we think of as Rap; B Boying, what you think of Dance; Graffiti writing which covers the visuals; and DJing, which covers composition and change. It flirts dangerously with access—at once surprising readers with unexpected slant rhymes, colloquial turns of phrase juxtaposed at seeming odds and even the occasional dip into cliché—all aimed at establishing a larger conversation with a more varied audience than lyric poetry. This risk is something that all fans of Larry Levis will understand: the delicate and precise skill of leaning up against but never spilling into sentimentality. With poems that are funny, elegiac, political and textured by Bomba, Salsa and Hip-Hop, this is a vivid, beautiful, breathtaking, moving and profound book. I can’t recommend it enough.”—Chris Abani, author of Sanctificum and GraceLand.