Seven Skirts

Paloma Press is pleased to announce the release of Seven Skirts, a debut poetry collection by Jacki Rigoni.

ISBN: 9781734496512
Library of Congress Control Number: 2020932229
Official release date: April 28, 2021
Pages: 72
Price: $16.00
Available now on Bookshop.org, Barnes and Noble, and select bookstores.

Following a journey of coming apart and stitching together a new life after domestic abuse, this debut poetry collection weaves in skirts as a metaphor for both women’s vulnerability and their power. Though steeped in the milieu of #metoo, divorce court, and the ubiquity of violence against women, the tender poems in Seven Skirts center women, mothers, children, wilderness, and the common healing power of women showing up for each other “on a Tuesday.”  

Advance words:

In one of the poems of this aptly titled Seven Skirts poetry collection by Jacki Rigoni, I come across a beautiful word: handwork. It applies to the domestic work of women, from birthing and mothering children to sewing and mending clothes and offering solidarity to each other. It also relates to the work of stitching, through language, a life back together again after rupture. One of the narrative threads has to do with a story of divorce and custody, but it is worn lightly in this collection. The poems that stand out more brightly against this backdrop are those that celebrate women breaking silence after abuse, reclaiming their history, helping each other, learning to let go. The speaker in these poems considers how in the delicate balance of things, it is often the banal and mundane that rescue us: the ordinary ritual of making breakfast, learning to inhabit the space behind the “rented window / …to amaze at grace, again.”
~ Luisa A. Igloria, author of Maps for Migrants and Ghosts (2020), Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia 2020-22

In this powerful debut collection, Jacki Rigoni navigates the topic of domestic violence with honesty and bravery. Survival, mending, and how “we bend again toward light,” compels these profound poems that emerge from “a marriage decomposed / with the oak leaves.” What is balm for such loss and disillusionment? Children, mothers, gardenias, and the speaker’s own will of a salmon who moves “herself upstream against every force.” Ultimately, Seven Skirts is a collection rooted in healing. This is a necessary and stunning book.
~ Tayve Neese, author of Blood to Fruit, Co-founder of Trio House Press

Jacki Rigoni lives with her three children in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she serves as Poet Laureate of Belmont, California. She has a master’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a credentialed teacher. A finalist for the 2018 Francine Ringold Awards for New Writers, her poems appear in Nimrod International Journal, Moon City Review, anthologies, and permanent public art installations. Jacki writes on her site WomanUprising.com and facilitates courses for women at WomanU.com.

For review copies, please email editor (at) palomapress.net


Pushcart & Best of the Net Nominees

Congratulations to this year’s Pushcart & Best of the Net nominees! Jeanne-Marie Osterman, Jacki Rigoni, Lara Stapleton (Paloma Press) Cole Eubanks, Eugene Gloria, Veronica Kornberg, Jenna Le, Esteban Rodriguez, James J. Siegel (MiGoZine, Pushcart) Tamiko Beyer, Karla Brundage, Clara Hsu, Hilary King, Mia Ayumi Malhotra, Timothy Liu (MiGoZine, Best of the Net)

Forthcoming: Seven Skirts

In honor of Women’s History Month and National Poetry Month, Paloma Press is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of Seven Skirts by Jacki Rigoni. In one of the poems of this aptly titled Seven Skirts poetry collection by Jacki Rigoni, I come across a beautiful word: handwork. It applies to the domestic work of women, from birthing andContinue reading “Forthcoming: Seven Skirts”

peminology

PEMINOLOGY
by Melinda Luisa de Jesús

Published by Paloma Press
Release Date: March 2018
Pages: 80, full-color
Price: $27 (before discount; eBook, $5)
Distributor: Paloma Press

In honor of International Women’s Day, Paloma Press is proud to announce the release of PEMINOLOGY, a first poetry collection by Melinda Luisa de Jesús, a feminist of color who teaches and writes about critical race theory, girlhood and monsters, and believes, “as did the ancients, that a poem can change the world.”

Excerpt:

Jealousy

1.
Wanting to be blonde-haired, blue-eyed,
small-boned and delicate

ivory-complexioned, sweet and ladylike
a fairy princess,

or green-eyed and red-haired
like a mermaid

Anything but brown-skinned
brown-eyed

black-haired
loud

big
fat

different.

2.
I love your poems

I hate your poems
I want to lick them,

chew the paper they’re on
savor each line

then
swallow them whole

make them mine.

3.
Wishing I felt more connection

Planted in American soil
wilting

bleached
I long to be coconut, carabao brown.

Advance words:
“Melinda Luisa de Jesús’s debut collection of poems comes from a space of longing, rebellion, grief, love, poetics and politics. Bold, unafraid and uncompromising, peminology carves out a space for de Jesús’ vision and her generation of Filipinas in immigrant America. She speaks in multiple voices and registers, as a daughter, to a daughter, as a mother, to a mother, as a storyteller, drudging up a past and confronting fiercely the present. peminology is poetic auto ethnography. It must be read. It must be heard. It must be listened to. This is Asian-America. This is post-Trump’s America. This is the America we live in.”
—Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt, author of The Postcolonial Citizen: The Intellectual Migrant

peminology is bold, raw, and honest. Weaving between past and present, de Jesús creates a narrative of traumas that connect girlhood to womanhood. Charting the intersections of racial and feminist awakenings, these poems offer avenues for shame and rage to become strength and resistance. “The Tractor,” “Patriarchy,” and “Imagine That” are but a few examples of the timely critiques—anthems, even—that de Jesús situates amidst her chronology of oppression and opposition. Her experimentation with form, including the hay(na)ku, the hay(na)ku sentence, and the pantoum, interrupts Western poetic conventions as much as the language and imagery itself. The stand out poem—“Bellies”— followed by “Pantoum for Eloisa,” explores the heartbreaking complexities of brown women negotiating motherhood and white imperialism. This collection will leave you simultaneously heartbroken and empowered, ready to rise out of your seat to demand recognition, and sit down with your child to nurture self-love. A must-read for 2018.” —Linda Pierce Allen, co-editor of Global Crossroads: A World Literature Reader and Questions of Identity: Complicating Race in American Literary History

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Melinda Luisa de Jesús is Chair and Associate Professor of Diversity Studies at California College of the Arts. She writes and teaches about Asian American cultural production, girl culture, monsters, and race/ethnicity in the United States.