Tula

Tula
Poetry

Tula

“A book that both transports us and transforms us.” —VIET THANH NGUYEN
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Tula: a ruined Toltec capital; a Russian city known for its accordions; Tagalog for “poem.”

Prismatic, startling, rich with meaning yet sparely composed, Chris Santiago’s debut collection of poems—selected by A. Van Jordan as the winner of the 2016 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry—begins with one word and transforms it, in a dazzling sleight of hand, into a multivalent symbol for the immigrant experience. Tula: Santiago reveals to readers a distant land devastated by war. Tula: its music beckons in rhythms, time signatures, and lullabies. Tula: can the poem, he seems to ask, build an imaginative bridge back to a family lost to geography, history, and a forgotten language?

Inspired by the experiences of the second-generation immigrant who does not fully acquire the language of his parents, Tula paints the portrait of a mythic homeland that is part ghostly underworld, part unknowable paradise. Language splinters. Impossible islands form an archipelago across its landscape. A mother sings lullabies and a father works the graveyard shift in Saint Paul—while in the Philippines, two dissident uncles and a grandfather send messages and telegrams from the afterlife.

Deeply ambitious, a collection that examines the shortcomings and possibilities of both language and poetry themselves, Tula introduces a major new literary talent.

ISBN:
978-1-57131-488-8
Publish Date: 
12/06/2016
Pages: 
120
Size: 
5.5 × 8.5 × 0.31 in
Weight: 
6 oz
Author
Chris Santiago

Chris Santiago is the author of Tula, winner of the 2016 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, selected by A. Van Jordan. He teaches literature, sound culture, and creative writing at the University of St. Thomas.

Praise and Prizes

Blog Post

Chris Santiago – 03/23/2017

As part of "Because We Come From Everything: Poetry & Migration," the first formalized programming of the Poetry Coalition, Milkweed...