Professor Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, PhD recently published two new books. She edited Word Images: New Perspectives on Canícula and Other Works by Norma Elia Cantú, a collection of critical essays highlighting Cantú's contribution as a folklorist, writer, scholar, critic and teacher. The Runaway Poems, A Manual of Love, a collection of her own poetry, was published recently as well.
“One of my goals as a scholar and literary critic has been to highlight the work of superior Chicana/Latina writers who have not fully crossed over into mainstream readership, as they should have,” says Gutiérrez y Muhs of Word Images.
Aware of Gutiérrez y Muhs’ agenda of inclusivity and her goal to educate the educators of minoritized literatures, The University of Arizona Press previously published Rebozos de Palabras: An Helena Maria Viramontes Reader. “My readers are published with the intention of making scholars who are not Chicano/Latino more aware of the scope and density of publications by Latinos, so they can teach these authors” she says. “And to also attempt to expand the unidimentionality with which the Chicano/Latino/Latin American and particularly Mexican populations living in the US, are still caricaturized.”
The book includes seasoned and world renowned critics like Ellen McCracken, Jesús Rosales, María Herrera-Sobek, and fellow colleague from our Law School Professor Steven Bender with his chapter "Snapshots of Law and Life in the Midcentury Texas Borderlands," as well as SU alumni and Gutiérrez y Muhs’ former students. This truly makes the criticism interdisciplinary. The book’s cover art is by artist Veronica Eldredge, graduate of Seattle's Matteo Ricci College and Arts and Sciences in 2016, and two other former students, Carlos Sibaja Garcia, now an instructor at the Seattle Central Community College and Aldo Ulisses Resendiz Ramirez, a recent M.A. graduate of Columbia University, now working as an educator.
A renowned Chicana poet, Gutiérrez y Muhs’ collection The Runaway Poems: A Manual of Love, expands the poetics of loss and highlights the runaway phenomenon so common in our middle class, yet so silenced in North America. “Our children run away from home, and there is usually a unilinear interpretation in discussing this issue,” she says, “thus I have written about many possible subjectivities within runaway culture, within my poems. This is an innovative and of course creative endeavor, making the centrality of pain and loss into a topic of theorization and discussion, through a poetic lens.”
Gabriella Gutiérrez y Muhs, PhD, is a professor in the Departments of Modern Languages and Women & Gender Studies and Director for the Center for the Study of Justice in Society at Seattle University. She is the author or editor of several books, including Rebozos de Palabras: An Helena María Viramontes Critical Reader and Communal Feminisms, and first editor of Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia. She is also a commissioner with ArtsWA, the Washington State Arts Commission.
Cover artwork courtesy of the publishers.