by Tommy Archuleta
University Press of Colorado, 2023
eISBN: 978-1-885635-86-0 | Paper: 978-1-885635-85-3
Library of Congress Classification PS3601.R3896
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

Surreal yet earthbound, orphaned yet mothered more than most, comforting yet disturbing—Tommy Archuleta’s Susto surveys many settings: the body, the soul, the terrain the soul encounters upon leaving the body. But the setting is also the high desert landscape that is the poet’s northern New Mexico home, a land whose beauty today is as silencing and brutal as was the colonization of the region and her Anasazi descendants by Archuleta’s Spanish antipasados. In Susto, loss is everywhere to be found, though this work is not merely a concerted meditation on lament. Rather, it is part unearthed family album; part unlocked diary; part ode to motherhood and her various forms; part manual on preparing for a happy death; and part primer on the ancient art of curanderismo, whereby plants and roots are prepared for treating all manner of ills a mind and body might face.

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