My new book, a poetry-prose collection, SCAR ON/SCAR OFF, officially drops today and is available on the press website, Amazon, B & N, and at your local bookstore (please contact Stalking Horse Press here for bookstore ordering info.) For review copies please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Stalking Horse Press.
Thank you to the Columbia Tribunefor their review of the book here and for featuring SCAR ON/SCAR OFF in their 2017 round up here.
“McCauley’s debut collection of poems and prose immediately made me a fan. She wields ‘rebel language’ that goes straight for the heart and soul, weaving tales that make a reader shiver and sigh. She’s fearless, forthright, but never glib or gaudythis is honest writinga voice that is thrilling to witness. The truths this poet reveals are not pretty, but she handles them with an earned grace, a street-tested vibe. This collection is far more than ‘black girl magic,’it’s ‘black woman essential.’” Allison Joseph, author of Confessions of a Barefaced Woman
“This book! It moves and breathes and sings like a living organism. The pulse is vital, the insights sharp as a blade. Who speaks truth to power this way: ‘Tell them we been mournin’ bullet-warmed/ blood long before they told us: now this is how/ you interpret a death?’ Who strikes the page with such a necessary question: ‘how boring/is your/ego that my/darkface/still bothers/you/this much?’ Jennifer Martiza McCauley is the answer: an essential, undaunted, luminous new voice who carries within her many voices, many stories. Scar On/Scar Off is poetry that conjures and skewers our fractured zeitgeist.”
-Julie Marie Wade, author of Catechism: A Love Story and When I Was Straight
“There is a type of loss that cannot be represented, though its feeling can be caught, like a yawn as wide as the place where endings meet beginnings. When I read Jennifer Maritza McCauley, I feel like I’m falling into myself, snagged on something I forgot to look at while I was busy mourning some other, closer loss. My hand is being guided across the page, salty words lapping up into my wounds. I remember I have lost something. I remember we have lost something, and I can see its outline, like the lips of an open mouth. Words spill back into it, reminding me why I first came to language.” —Raquel Salas Rivera, author of Caneca de anhelos turbios’ and ‘lo terciario/the tertiary
“McCauley’s poetry breaks my heart. It’s so, so fantastic.” —Joanna C. Valente, author of Marys of the Sea
“McCauley’s poetry is the real deal! Fiercely feminine and exceedingly humane, ‘Scar On/Scar Off’ will surprise, delight, and then heal some part of you that you didn’t even know was hurting.” —Denise Duhamel, author of Blowout
“McCauley confidently narrates how a body, a black body ‘big as God and filled with all kinds of delicate weather’ navigates through this world while also inhabiting a brown body within. It is difficult to be in a bar alone, men beckoning. It is difficult to say Beyoncé videos make us teary-eyed. It is difficult to admit I am this, despite looking like this, and sounding like that. These poems ring all the sides of McCauley’s Afro-Latina experience as she writhes discomfort into deft introspection. McCauley’s work displays how black/brown skin has limits, complexities, a multiplicity of fears and joys. SCAR ON/SCAR OFF is a brave and necessary debut.” —F. Douglas Brown, author of Zero to Three
Read at Barnard College, as a part of CantoMundo’s reading series, read & attended College and Language Association Conference with Dr. Anand Prahlad, presented a talk on publishing at Resident Arts, read at UnBound Book Festival and had work featured @ Partial Press’ newest LED project (2017)
Reading at Barnard College with CantoMundo Crew
Giving a Tales of Submission Talk with Monica Hand painting in the background
Dinner at CLA with Anand Prahlad, Karen Pojmann
Anand Prahlad, Jamaica Kincaid, me
Reading at CLA
Poem Displayed on LED for UnBound Book Festival, with Partial Press fouders Levi Sherman and Carley Gomez
Reading the poem “A Good Song” with live band Mangosteen at Unbound Festival w/One Mic
Recent readings at CoMo’s #WritersResist and The Next Weather Series.
I was recently the featured poet at One Mic’s Poetry Evening at Cafe Berlin in Columbia, MO, along with the featured musician Amanda Bongiovanni and an amazing line up of CoMo writers.
Co-moderated ReadCaribbean/Origin Literary Journal’s panel “The Politics of Pleasure” with Hector Duarte Jr and readers/featured guests Anjanette Delgado, Fabienne Josaphat, Katia D. Ulysse, Donna Aza Weir-Soley for Miami Book Fair International 2016.
Appeared alongside Tiana Williams and Ronnie Rice, in “Chrysallis” a play written by Monica Hand and directed by John T. Butler.
I recently was a Visiting Writer for Hispanic Heritage Month at Stephens College:
Joined the amazing line up of Monica A. Hand, Cornelius Eady, Treasure Redmond, Ria El-Scari, Francine Harris, Marc McKee, Aliki Barnstone, Anand Prahlad, Marshall Allen, Brian Goines II, Sequoyah Moore, Tiana Williams, Jonne Pratt, Nicholas “NicDanger” Rodriguez, Joseph D. Smith and T’Keyah Thomas at #Blackpoetsspeakout Columbia-Missouri.
Had a wonderful time repping The Missouri Review, Origins Lit Journal, Sliver of Stone and Fjords Review on the panel “You Sent Us What?” with Lisa Kastner, John Gosslee, Ann Sheybani and William Patrick this #awp16. Had lots of great questions and heard great submission stories from our audience.
Who am I?
I teach, research, and write at the University of Missouri, where I am completing my Ph.D. in creative writing as a Gus T. Ridgel Fellow. I am also a graduate of Florida International University’s MFA program, where I was awarded an inaugural James L. Knight Fellowship in fiction. I have received creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, CantoMundo, Kimbilio, and Sundress Academy of the Arts. I’m currently Contest Editor for The Missouri Review, an associate editor of Origins Literary Magazine, a reviews editor at Fjords Review, and a temp. fiction editor at Sliver of Stone. My work appears or is forthcoming in Pleiades, Vassar Review, Columbia Journal, Passages North, The Los Angeles Review, Jabberwock Review, Entropy, Connotations Press, Public Pool, Split the Rock’s “Poem of the Week,”Puerto del Sol, New Delta Review, Luna Luna, A Shadow Map Anthology (CCM Press), Just to Watch Them Die: Crime Stories Inspired by Johnny Cash, Latinas: Protests and Struggles in the 21st Century USA (Red Sugarcane Press). The Feminist Wire, Hermeneutic Chaos, Literary Orphans, Aspasiology, Gravel, For Harriet, Deep South Magazine, The Boiler, Squalorly, Rain Taxi, The Blue Lyra Review, First Inkling and Miami’s WLRN.org among other outlets. My cross-genre poetry book is forthcoming from Stalking Horse Press. My historical novel is represented by Amanda Jain and Michelle Johnson at Inklings Literary Agency.