The Inheritance of Haunting
108 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Paperback | 9780268105389 | March 2019
Hardcover | 9780268105372 | March 2019
eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268105396 | March 2019
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268105402 | March 2019
Winner of the 2018 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, The Inheritance of Haunting, by Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes, is a collection of poems contending with historical memory and its losses and gains carried within the body, wrought through colonization and its generations of violence, war, and survival.
The driving forces behind Rhodes’s work include a decolonizing ethos; a queer sensibility that extends beyond sexual and gender identities to include a politics of deviance; errantry; ramshackled bodies; and forms of loving and living that persist in their wild difference. Invoking individual and collective ghosts inherited across diverse geographies, this collection queers the space between past, present, and future. In these poems, haunting is a kind of memory weaving that can bestow a freedom from the attenuations of the so-called American dream, which, according to Rhodes, is a nightmare of assimilation, conquest, and genocide. How love unfolds is also a Big Bang emergence into life—a way to, again and again, cut the future open, open up the opening, undertake it, begin.
These poems are written for immigrants, queer and transgender people of color, women, Latin Americans, diasporic communities, and the many impacted by war.
Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes is a queer, disabled, brown/Colombian poet, scholar, and cultural worker. Her poetry collection The Inheritance of Haunting explores intergenerational memory and postcolonial trauma. Most recently, she was a spring 2021 Mellon Arts Fellow at Yale’s Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration. Her work has been published in Poetry, the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, Nat. Brut, Foglifter, and Waxwing, among other places.
"This book—historical, mystical, fiercely alive—is a book of laments that are also geographies, words that are also figures, perforations, marks ferrying the dead, the dead who have taught this poet how to read the air, the scar, the hair. Traces of the lost in what is not lost. And (this is the thing!) the poems themselves are signals and routes. A song repeats, reminds us of our Befores as they worked toward getting free, getting us free. These poems are a part of that same long song. Spell, testimony, strategy, prayer. They flood me with courage and attention. From somewhere under the paper comes a sound: 'this is how you read. / this is how we arm you in the language. . . '" —Aracelis Girmay, author of The Black Maria
"The Inheritance of Haunting honors the legacies of our dead, traces a connective tissue across suffering from the Andes to Palestine. But instead of only noticing suffering, this book is a canto 'with roots too deep to measure.' Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes's first collection is a spell that disintegrates carnivorous colonizers and locates 'the go back to where you came from when there is nowhere but here.' Rhodes transforms history into a reminder about 'how hard we fought for here, this simple morning.' Behold: 'the holy songs of trees.'" —Vickie Vértiz, author of Palm Frond with Its Throat Cut
"This collection is a rumination on the memories, the violence and the acts of liberation that live in the body across generations of colonization, war, and upheaval. . . . Representing the voices of individual and collective ghosts from across Latin America, this collection asks us to account for the past and to celebrate the lives that come after." —Electric Lit
"Restrepo Rhodes’s The Inheritance of Haunting stands out, at least to this reader, as an aesthetically potent and ethically rigorous work with unrivaled incantatory powers. . . . [Its] poetics are akin to a cathartically rich espiritismo séance—and, as a caribeño, I don’t use these words lightly." —The Rumpus
“A brutal, but necessary, unveiling of violence and the ghosts we carry with us daily, The Inheritance of Haunting sings the unbearable and still makes a claim for survival. These are intricate poems that are odes to the women who have come before us, odes to the women who have been silenced by fear, and odes to the ‘wreckage of centuries.’ With language that is alive, inventive, sound-driven, and ricocheting with power, this is a fierce and breathtaking collection that risks calling for a great reckoning with our collective past.” — Ada Limón, author of Bright Dead Things