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Controlled Decay


A highly ambitious and visionary poetry debut from the first Mexican author in Chris Abani’s acclaimed Black Goat series.

$18.95 $14.21

What people are saying…

“This first collection marks a new mind terrain, radical tempos, and wild-style tropes in Latina Letters and all poetry today—breaks through with incredible caliber and impossible power. She is Hegel and Kahlo, Serpent and Zen, Cantina blade and Zapatista jungle.”
—Juan Felipe Herrera, author of 187 Reasons Mexicanos Can’t Cross the Border

“Jauregui displays perfect pitch: Her lyrics are not only generically rich, ranging as they do from visual poem and haiku to love poem, historical narrative, and elegy, but also impressive in their scope, range, empathy—and especially their authentic passion.”
—Marjorie Perloff


Black Goat is an independent poetry imprint of Akashic Books created and curated by award-winning Nigerian author Chris Abani (author of Becoming Abigail and Song for Night). Black Goat is committed to publishing well-crafted poetry, and will also focus on experimental or thematically challenging work. The series aims to create a proportional representation of female, African, and other non-American poets.

Controlled Decay, Gabriela Jauregui’s debut poetry collection, is animated by a rich sense of language’s polyglot permeability, which she uses to explore the interpenetration of manifold cultural spaces, from the sublime to the grotesque. Beautiful and wounding moments manifest in her unique lyrical and political engagement with the world.

These poems emerge from points of connection and slippage where present and past, human and animal, converge. They range across a stunning variety of poetic landscapes and voices: from a dance hall in East Los Angeles to a steam bath in Morocco; from the author’s native Mexico City subway system to the intimacy of a grave; from a guerrilla army commander’s voice to that of a poet who is self-conscious of the weighty lineage she inherits. Jauregui pushes the boundaries of form and language: We find short puzzle-like metaphysical poems that resonate deeply, and also longer rhythmic ones that break open narrative. In all her poems, Jauregui’s watchful street savvy and sensual attention to words incorporate her responses to the world that surrounds us and give palpable form to the pirates, birds, dancers, witches, and mothers who come to life in her work.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Published: 6/1/08
  • IBSN: 9781933354521


GABRIELA JAUREGUI (b. 1979) was born and raised in Mexico City. Her creative and critical work has been published in magazines, journals, and anthologies in Mexico, the United States, and Europe. She graduated with an MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Riverside, and holds an MA in English and comparative literature from the University of California, Irvine. She is a Paul and Daisy Soros New American Fellow and a PhD candidate in comparative literature at the University of Southern California. Controlled Decay is her lastest poetry collection.

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