For Want of Water: and other poems (National Poetry Series)

  • Published date: March 20, 2018

Searing verses set on the Mexican border about war and addiction, love and sexual violence, grief and loss, from an American Book Award–winning author.  Selected by Gregory Pardlo as winner of the National Poetry Series. 
 
El Paso is one of the safest cities in the United States, while across the river, Ciudad Juárez suffers a history of femicides and a horrific drug war. Witnessing this, a Filipina’s life unravels as she tries to love an addict, the murders growing just a city—but the breadth of a country—away. This collection weaves the personal with recent history, the domestic with the tragic, asking how much “a body will hold,” reaching from the border to the poet’s own Philippines. These poems thirst in the desert, want for water, searching the brutal and tender territories between bodies, families, and nations.


About the author: Sasha Pimentel is also the author of Insides She Swallowed, winner of the 2011 American Book Award. Born in Manila and raised in the United States and Saudi Arabia, she is a professor of poetry and creative nonfiction in the bilingual MFA Program at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Gregory Pardlo’s many awards include the Pulitzer Prize for his book Digest.
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