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Catalog » Browse by Title: I » I Offer My Heart as a Target / Ofrezco mi corazón como una diana

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.

$17.95 $13.46

What people are saying…

“In Spanish and English, the poems in Vázquez Paz’s debut follow her from Latin America to Chicago.”
New York Times Book Review, New & Noteworthy Poetry selection

“In this bilingual edition (superbly translated from the Spanish by Lawrence Schimel) Puerto Rican poet Vázquez Paz grapples with the violence against the psyche . . . and with the violence of displacement . . . These poems are a celebration of female strength and imagination: ‘I am a woman: I endure much/ but the day is short.'”
NBC Latino, one of the Best Latino Books of 2019

“Paz compels us to look closer, and longer, at bodies worn, stressed, and hurt. Often her narrators are hurt by men—in the shadows and under the light, in the past and in the present . . . Paz’s book is full of tradition, tension, and rage.”
The Millions, a Must-Read Poetry Selection for December 2019

“Many of the poems speak of violence, misogyny, and assaults on dignity, others of the bitterness of migration and exile, but difficulties are met throughout with a steely-eyed perseverance.”
New West Indian Guide

I Offer My Heart as a Target is an eminently relevant selection of poems for anyone tuned into the issues of the day, including identity formation and representation, immigration, the #MeToo movement, family trauma and institutionalized ‘-isms’ . . . Poet Johanny Vázquez Paz covers important and traumatic topics in a beautiful, evocative bilingual collection.”
Shelf Awareness for Readers

“In her powerfully honest verses, Paz explores what it means to be born a U.S. citizen on the island of Puerto Rico, to live with a complexion that allows her to pass for white, and to struggle against the misogyny that runs rampant in both English- and Spanish-speaking cultures.”

“[A] piercing and timely exploration of gender, violence, and social justice . . . ‘Against all prognoses,/ we survive,’ [Paz] proclaims in this moving book that, with Schimel’s skillful translation, highlights resilience in the face of oppression.”
Publishers Weekly

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

Featured title in The Millions’s New Release roundup!

“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 . . . 

I Offer My Heart as a Target 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 an announcement for I Offer My Heart as a Target at the Boston Globe.

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.

Read an interview with Johanny Vázquez Paz at NewCity.

Read an excerpt of “Milkman’s Daughter” (in English) at The Millions.

Read an excerpt of “Inheritances” at the Los Angeles Review.

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 in Northwestern Illinois
University’s Consenso Literary Contest of poetry and short stories, 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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