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Much like the star, Vega is a dazzling light for those who struggle with grief, depression, and loss. Written by poet and publisher Christina Vega, this sophomore poetry collection centers the Chicana experience amid the rippling effects of unexpected loss within multigenerational families, strained familial dynamics, and reconnecting with ancestral ties. Vega is a book…
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Much like the star in our sky, Vega is a dazzling light for those who struggle with grief, depression, and loss. Written by poet and publisher Christina Vega, this sophomore poetry collection centers the Chicana experience amid the rippling effects of unexpected loss within multigenerational families, strained familial dynamics, and reconnecting with ancestral ties. Vega is a book about finding power within liminality, rather than a path away from it.
“Compiling, editing, and writing these poems provided a glittering tether back to my family in El Paso, TX, if only for a few moments each day. For me, writing reconnects me with my roots.” – Christina Vega
“Vega sets forth a feast in multiple tongues and deeply resonant griefs, with bodies unafraid of breathing. This is a poet who dives deep and, taking our hands, urges us along for the hard journey.” — Tamiko Nimura, author of We Hereby Refuse
“Vega is a beautiful and visceral poetry collection. It explores the multifaceted aftermath of death, showing us the ethereal and the ugly that comes with grief. Vega is vibrant and nostalgic. There is warmth and wilderness within the pages. There is magic here, too.” — Rios de la Luz, author of Itza and An Altar of Stories to Liminal Saints
“Vega embodies the concept of Nepantla, a liminal space or experience between the shattering of self and the transformation of self, as author Christina Vega explores the borders and boundaries of: religion and spirituality, bodies and histories, and language and reality… Our language is a mother that births us; rejecting or impeding it is an obstruction of our full existence. The poetry presented within weaves together a sophisticated, cocoon-like tapestry that holds vulnerability and power, and readers will be changed.” — Lydia K. Valentine, author of Brief Black Candles and former Tacoma Poet Laureate
“This book is a beautiful experience of becoming and belonging. Vega shows the reader there is a religion in nature, a religion in language, but not in men. Through bodies of water and swallows of sun, the fluid, undefined body is restored, moving through anger and loss, finding power in family, both the ones you’re born into and the ones you grow yourself. Strength is built generation to generation and that power of identity is, at last, instilled into the next generation through parenthood and community. This collection is hungry and honest about its desire for agency and transformation. A poetry collection you’ll be thinking about time and time again.” — Nicole Nicole McCarthy, author of A Summoning
“In this self-named collection, Christina Vega unearths and offers up some essential qualities of themselves spun from ancestors, descendants, and siblings. The poems of Vega remind us that our elders and the beings we will elder never cease shaping the landscape of our hearts, minds, and mouths.” — Alison Bailey, editor & fictionist
“Vega is a raw, unfiltered collection of poems that pays tribute to the multi-faceted dimensions of self and ancestry. The speaker in the poems navigates familial and cultural loss and grief as they gather the fragments of themselves through language, dreams and memory, seeking to know themselves “as a wolf knows the taste of marrow”. The language in Vega is unapologetic and real, and one gets a sense of the writer finding their way back to themselves through wilderness and wasteland, woman and womb, to be born again like their “baby [that] kisses [them] back”, taking them home.” — Esther Vincent Xueming, author of Red Earth
“Vega is a haunting and sensuous collection which takes us on a journey, continually evolving in form and feeling, and traversing landscapes between the dry deserts of New Mexico and the rippling waters of Alaska. In this book, we encounter the often bewildering spectrum of human experience and the paradoxes with which we struggle when we are blessed, or possibly cursed, with a genius for feeling deeply. Tension runs through these poems like a rip current, as poet Christina Vega explores the threat of brutality undermining the pleasure of love, and legacies of generational trauma entangled with ancestral gifts. Language itself, her collection suggests, exists in a state of flux between its capacity to provide healing magic and a frustrating inability to express more complicated truths. Throughout it all, the poet conveys a longing for liberation frequently undone but never extinguished by sensual desire and a kinship with the natural world which provides relief from otherwise inescapable cycles of harm. In asking whether we can find equilibrium amid life’s contradictions and whether its beauties outweigh its pains, Vega suggests that these are questions to be lived rather than answered.” — Jesi Hanley Vega
Christina Vega (they/them) is a Queer Chicana poet from the borderlands of Texas & Mexico. Their mother is Anita Vega and their grandmother is Aurora Vega. They live on Puyallup and Nisqually Land.
Christina is also a non-binary parent. They are the publisher at Blue Cactus Press, where they work with change-makers to create books that serve as tools and community resources. They primarily work with and skill-share with folks from historically marginalized groups who are gate-kept from publishing. They seek deep collaborations and work that emerges through relationship.
Christina believes we have the power to reshape our communities with principles of Emergent Strategy, transformative justice, and collective laboring of love. They believe revolution starts at home.
They published their first poetry collection, Maps, in 2017, Decay, a chapbook co-published with Winter Texts in 2022.Their poetry has appeared in Creative Colloquy, Frontera Vol. 3: estados silvestres // natural states, International Poetry Review, Papeachu Issue 3, Timberline Review, WA129+, and Milk Gallery. Christina’s journalism has appeared in City Arts, Grit City Magazine, Hilltop Action Journal, OLY ARTS, The Ranger, VOICE Magazine and Weekly Volcano. Follow Christina on Twitter and Instagram @bluecactuspress. Christina has also contributed visual art and poetry to Nuance: A Pride Exhibition (Milk Gallery, July 2019), and The TVs (Alma Mater Tacoma, July 2019). Watch the video below to see what Christina has to say about their work in The TVs.