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I Offer My Heart as a Target / Ofrezco mi corazón como una diana


Introducing the new winner of the Paz Prize for Poetry, given by the National Poetry Series, featuring an introduction by Rigoberto González, and presented in both Spanish and English.

Forthcoming: 12/3/19

$15.95 $11.96

What people are saying…

Included in the Academy of American Poets’s Featured Fall Books for 2019!

“Winner of the Paz Prize for Poetry, this dual-language book explores perseverance and survival in the face of violence, displacement, and defeat.”
Publishers Weekly, Fall 2019 Adult Announcements (Poetry)


Previous winners of the Paz Prize for Poetry include Miami Century Fox, by  and translated by Eduardo Aparicio, Nine Coins/Nueve monedas, by Carlos Pintado and translated by Hilary Vaughn Dobel, and Colaterales/Collateral by Dinapiera Di Donato and translated by Ricardo Alberto Maldonado.

Translated by Lawrence Schimel.

From the introduction by Rigoberto González:

A regular heartbeat is composed of the two sounds made when the blood flows through the organ as the valves contract. To listen to its rhythm through a stethoscope is to appreciate the slight distinction between two movements that are unequivocally connected—one beat calls, the other responds. Similarly, the two sections of Johanny Vázquez Paz’s stunning book of poems offer the reader distinct tones powered by the same source: perseverance.

In the first part, the speaker declares herself a survivor. Her story is rooted to a violent landscape that some may call home, though for this woman home is a battleground, her body ravaged by war . . .

The second part examines a much different challenge that presents itself to many immigrants: displacement. The speaker’s struggle to hold on to her past, indeed her history, via her native Spanish language is compromised by the pressures of assimilation . . .

Ofrezco mi corazón como una diana is a book of victory over silence and the truest testament to what it means to outlive that which has defeated or deflated many. If there’s a spirit guiding the courage embedded in its pages, it must be the Phoenix, the miraculous being that rises from the ashes reborn, or rather, pieced together again. The heart beats once more. The woman reclaims the word.

The Paz Prize for Poetry is presented by the National Poetry Series and The Center for Writing and Literature at Miami Dade College and is awarded biennially. Named in the spirit of the late Nobel Prize–winning poet Octavio Paz, it honors a previously unpublished book of poetry written originally in Spanish by an American resident.

Read excerpted poems from I Offer My Heart as a Target at Guernica.

Read three excerpted poems and the translator’s statement at Latin American Literature Today.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Published: 12/3/19
  • IBSN: 9781617757631
  • e-IBSN: 9781617757693


JOHANNY VÁZQUEZ PAZ is the author of Sagrada familia (winner of the International Latino Book Award, 2015), Querido voyeur, and Streetwise Poems/Poemas callejeros. She won first prize in the poetry category at the Consenso Short Story and Poetry Contest of Northeastern Illinois University, and second prize in the short story category. She coedited the anthology Between the Heart and the Land/Entre el corazón y la tierra: Latina Poets in the Midwest and her work has been included in the anthologies City of the Big Shoulders, Ejército de rosas, En la 18 a la 1, and The City Visible: Chicago Poetry for the New Century, among others. She currently teaches at Harold Washington College in Chicago, Illinois. I Offer My Heart as a Target/Ofrezco mi corazón como una diana is her latest collection of poetry.

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