• by Vickie Vértiz

  • 100 pages, 6.00 x 9.00

  • Paperback | 9780268203931 | February 2023

  • Hardcover | 9780268203924 | February 2023

  • eBook (EPUB) | 9780268203948 | February 2023

  • eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268203917 | February 2023

  • Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry


The poems in Auto/Body are an inexhaustible engine—sometimes a body, sometimes flesh—a sensual exploration of what it means to repair, to remake, to keep going even when rebuilding feels impossible.

From the greased-up engines of auto body shops to the innumerable points of light striking the dance floor of a queer nightclub, Auto/Body, winner of the Ernest Sandeen Prize in Poetry, hot-wires the vulnerability of the narrating body to the language of auto mechanics to reveal their shared queer decadence.

Behind the wheel of this book is an insistent, humorous voice whose experiences have lent themselves to a deep, intimate knowledge of survival, driven by the pursuit of joy and exalted pleasure. Raised in and near auto body shops, Vickie Vértiz remembers visiting them for new tires, or to elevate the family car to examine what’s underneath, to see what’s working and what’s not. The poetry in this book is also a body shop: but we take our bodies, identities, desires, and see what’s sparking. In this shop we ask: what needs changing? How do our bodies transcend ways of being we have received so that we may become more ourselves?

From odes to drag, to pushing back on the tyranny of patriarchy, to loving too hard and too queer, to growing up working-class in a time of incessant border violence and incarceration, this collection combusts with blood and fuel. In other words, Vértiz writes to dissolve a colonial engine and reconstruct a new vessel with its remains.