They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems by David Bowles
Cinco Puntos Press, 2018, 120 pages
About the Author: A Mexican-American author from deep South Texas, David Bowles is an assistant professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Recipient of awards from the American Library Association, Texas Institute of Letters and Texas Associated Press, he has written a dozen or so books, including Flower, Song, Dance: Aztec and Mayan Poetry, the critically acclaimed Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Mexican Myths, and They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems. In 2019, Penguin will publish The Chupacabras of the Rio Grande, co-written with Adam Gidwitz, and Tu Books will release his steampunk graphic novel Clockwork Curandera. His work has also appeared in multiple venues such as Journal of Children’s Literature, Rattle, Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, Nightmare, Asymptote, Translation Review, Metamorphoses, Huizache, Eye to the Telescope, and Southwestern American Literature. In April 2017, David was inducted into the Texas Institute of Letters for his literary work.
You can visit David at davidbowles.us
“You’re a border kid, a foot on either bank.
Your ancestors crossed this river a thousand times,
No wall, no matter how tall, can stop your heritage
from flowing forever, like the Río Grande itself.”
Life isn’t always easy when you’re a border kid, but Güero wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s at home with either Spanish or English and on both sides of the river—his nickname may be Spanish for a pale-skinned guy but despite his freckles, he’s puro mexicano. Güero has a bunch of hobbies that may sound pretty nerdy to some—reading, playing video games, and practicing the accordion—but he’s got an entire squad of friends who back him up and share his interests: Los Bobbys.
Whenever Güero is down and out about the state of the border, bullies, and just the seventh grade in general, he trusts in his family traditions to pick him back up again. Güero is ready to shoulder the burden of anything that comes his way, because he’s found the best way of expressing himself: poetry.
PRR writer, Cheyenne Lopex
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