ANC061: Let the Buzzards Eat Me Whole by Ingrid M. Calderón-Collins
in a room, beyond a curtain— / a T.V. blares its voice, because talking / is for children— / and I know things children shouldn’t know
In an era of unprecedented global upheaval, every personal crisis stands in danger of being lost among the confusion. Violence, poverty, and disaster have forced fifty-million children from their homes—each carrying untold tales of tragedy. These youth are particularly vulnerable to exploitation in the chaos they flee, the turbulence of their migration, and the hostility awaiting them at journey’s end. Countless such stories remain forever untold. No one is voiceless; we merely choose who to hear. Ingrid M. Calderón-Collins’ Let the Buzzards Eat Me Whole discloses a narrative impossible to ignore. The memoir details her experiences with sexual abuse, the Salvadoran civil war, American resettlement, and the unbuttoning of childhood to womanhood. Though her account begins decades ago, its cathartic strength highlights the importance of honoring similar hardships as they unfold around us every day.
For every copy sold, Another New Calligraphy will donate $1 to GirlForward, a Chicago nonprofit providing educational support and safe spaces for teenage girls displaced by conflict and persecution.
Read an excerpt previously published in Impossible Task.
“…triumph of the soul over its battlefield with the body, with those who would oppress it in its most vulnerable childlike form. Calderón-Collins honors her own body and those of many victims of childhood sexual abuse with this testament that is equal parts candor and craft.”
—Kristin Garth, Puritan U & Candy Cigarette Womanchild Noir
“…an epic in vacillating prose and verse…origin, trauma, vision, and sensuality. [This] ‘song before language,’ is vicious and earnest; an excruciating journey through literal rotting bodies, gnashing lecherous mouths, incestuous hypocrites, racists, and lovers. [An] ambitious and fearless testament.”
—Jeremy Gaulke, Apep Publications
“…the Tower of the Tarot rendered into verse. Calderón-Collins’ language is as potent as it is expertly crafted. Let this poetry haunt you.”
—Thursday Simpson, Three Gothic Stories
“…crashes and boils from start to finish, not unlike the volcanic bedrock of [her] native El Salvador. This gift of self-sacrificial bloodletting will forever haunt and inspire all those lucky enough to feel their pulse upon its pages.”
—John Collins, artist
“…ugly and beauty converge, and in this Calderón-Collins finds redemption, resurrection and the stepping-stones to begin moving beyond stasis of her past. This is a gorgeous and brutal read—an open-veined confessional about finding healing in the crevices of trauma, and not letting the past continue to define the present.”
—Jen Hitchcock, owner of Book Show
“…from El Salvador to the suburbs of Los Angeles, this “vicious cycle” follows the author everywhere she goes. We see the harsh times and tender moments. It exposes what the strength found inside any of us—combined with love—can help us overcome.”
—Nikolai Garcia, Nuclear Shadows of Palm Trees