A collection of poems addressing how every kind of love--self, brotherly, romantic, familial, cultural--is birthed, shaped, and complicated by the invisible forces of gender, capitalism, religion, migration, and so on.
So many poems in Promises of Gold... play with entertaining contradictions as they explore desire and fulfillment in the speaker’s complicated relationships with countries and cultures, as well as with lovers, friends, and family ... By including a Spanish translation of the entire book, Promises of Gold charts another course, transporting language back across the border ... It’s a fascinating aspect of the collection.
Olivarez elevates small but notable moments through a sensitive, introspective speaker who must learn tough lessons on the streets of Calumet City ... But Olivarez also undercuts well-worn tropes of Mexican-American migration by offering glimmers of hope ... The book includes a Spanish translation and bilingual readers will enjoy flipping back and forth to see how the prism of each poem changes its hue in the light of another language.