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Cherished for her passionate fiction and exuberant essays, the author hailed by Julia Alvarez as “una storyteller de primera,” and by Barbara Kingsolver in the Los Angeles Times as “impossible to resist,” returns to her first love—poetry—to reveal an unwavering commitment to social justice, and a fervent embrace of the sensual world.
With the poems in I Ask the Impossible, Castillo celebrates the strength that “is a woman—buried deep in [her] heart.” Whether memorializing real-life heroines who have risked their lives for humanity, spinning a lighthearted tale for her young son, or penning odes to mortals, gods, goddesses, Castillo’s poems are eloquent and rich with insight. She shares over twelve years of poetic inspiration, from her days as a writer who “once wrote poems in a basement with no heat,” through the tenderness of motherhood and bitterness of loss, to the strength of love itself, which can “make the impossible a simple act.” Radiant with keen perception, wit, and urgency, sometimes erotic, often funny, this inspiring collection sounds the unmistakable voice of a “woman on fire— / and more worthy than stone.”
“Poems alight with stubborn love, crackling wit, and towering anger. Earthy and well molded like clay, Castillo's poetry serves as a vessel for emotions. . . . Castillo writes on behalf of the voiceless and nameless. . . . Castillo writes, too, of her late mother, her thriving son, and the spiky ironies of love, always willing to face the painful truths of human life but always finding her way to beauty.” —Donna Seaman, Booklist