My Kill Adore Him is a collection of poems from Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize-winner Paul Martínez Pompa. The book’s title is a homophonic translation of the Spanish word maquiladora, which translates into English as “factory” or “sweatshop.” With a unique, independent voice, Martínez Pompa interrogates masculinity, race, language, consumerism, and cultural identity in poems that honor los olvidados, the forgotten ones, who range from the usual suspects brutalized by police to factory workers poisoned by their environment, from the victim of a homophobic beating in the boys’ bathroom to the body of Juan Doe at the Cook County Coroner’s Office. Some of the poems rely on somber, at times brutal, imagery to articulate a political stance while others use sarcasm and irony to deconstruct political stances themselves.
“This is one tough, smart poet. The poems of Paul Martínez Pompa are gritty and visceral, but never cross the line into sensationalism. They are poems that vividly evoke the urban world, especially Chicago, without ever lapsing into urban cliché. They are poems that seek justice for the Latino community without ever resorting to the overheated language that all too often consigns poetry of social conscience to oblivion.” — Martín Espada, 2008 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize judge
“In his breathtaking debut poetry collection, Martinez Pompa bursts onto the contemporary Latino scene with literary guns ablaze. He is precisely what we need right now: a brave poet just as critical of himself as he is of others. Within the pages of this clever and brutally honest text lie the words of an old soul—who just happens to be a young poet. Martinez Pompa’s youth and aged wisdom coexist in each and every poem, resulting in a fresh, yet deadly serious new voice that is not to be trifled with. . . . Highly recommended reading for anyone on the lookout for what comes next in Latino poetry.” — Multicultural Review
“Paul Martinez Pompa’s My Kill Adore Him, winner of the 2008 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, vividly captures the traumatic experiences of many Latino/a immigrants. . . . Pompa’s sensitive eye doesn’t take us with the men who find a job for that day, but lingers on the man left behind, the man who will not make any money that day.” — Kenyon Review Online
“. . . My Kill Adore Him is an exciting and tough collection of very well-composed and accessible poems. It’s been a while since I tore through a book of poetry and really enjoyed the read. . . .” — Harriet, a Poetry Foundation blog
“ My Kill Adore Him is a collection of poetry from Paul Martinez Pompa focusing on the issues of masculinity, race, and who people are. . . . An entertaining and thought provoking work, highly recommended.” — The Midwest Book Review
“Martinez Pompa’s collection engages the urban landscape and how its cultural and historical legacies extended south into the border and Mexico itself. . . . As a first collection, My Kill Adore Him . . . is definitely a find, with its impressive range of Latino literary influences, from Herrera to Andres Montoya, to Martin Espada. With such poetic energy and intensity in one book, there’s no doubt that Martinez Pompa’s next collection will engrave him on the literary map.” — El Paso Times
Finalist, 2009 Book of the Year Award for Poetry, ForeWord Magazine