Erika L. Sánchez on Vitoria Perez
I chose "Dar Muharram" because I was haunted by it. I was torn between several poems, but I kept returning to this one again and again. The pale blue cloth. The blue skirts billowing. Such a moment of desperation rendered so exquisitely. This poem takes risks that I don't often see. That's the mark of a true poet, I believe. What are you willing to say that no one else will? This young writer doesn't turn away from despair, which is what many of us would do. Instead, they hold a mirror to it. Grief is confronted with itself. The speaker is confronted with themselves. This is about both self annihilation and self preservation. It's about vulnerability and loss. We watch as a family falls apart and wonder what can be rebuilt. How does a person go on living after an experience of this magnitude? This is important new voice, and I am eagerly waiting to see what they do next.