Lima :: Limón

Now available for Pre-order

The Rumpus Poetry Book Club pick for April. Join now to get an advanced copy here

Forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press May 2019

Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s second poetry collection is a lyrical exploration of the intersection between gender roles and desire on the U.S.-México border. Set within the liminal geography of the poet’s hometowns of Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and El Paso, Texas, Lima :: Limon fiercely questions machismo and marianismo, cultural norms that give way to gender violence and a blind eye turned to femicide. Drawing imagery and characters from songs commonly played in households along the border,Scenters-Zapico considers with fairy-tale strangeness how women live through violence to create a culture of their own, inside and outside of the domestic. In these poems, a speaker’s body transforms from flesh to wall to bug to bed, with the kind of magic it takes to survive what wants to kill you. Lima :: Limon makes the invisible visible, creating a loving tribute to women, ancestors, and all those whose labors of resilience go unsung.

These poems, with electric brilliance, speak fiercely as they straddle various borders, especially the one between El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.
— NPR, "'I Reject Walls': A 2019 Poetry Preview"
Scenters-Zapico’s sophomore effort concerns itself with the quotidian travails of being a woman on both sides of the US–Mexico border. It’s an undoubtedly timely collection.
— Buzzfeed, "66 Books Coming 2019 That You'll Want To Keep on Your Radar"


The Verging Cities


Winner of the PEN American/Joyce Osterweil Award in Poetry
Winner of the GLCA's 2016 New Writers Award
Winner of the 2016 Utah Book Award
Winner of the 2016 NACCS Book Award

Featured as One of The Best Debuts of 2015 by Poets and Writers
Named one of 23 Essential New Books By Latino Poets by Los Angeles Times
Named a Top 30 Must-Read Poetry Debut by LitHub

[I]t is difficult to find a voice discerning and trustworthy enough to share its stories with the scope and passion [with which] Natalie Scenters-Zapico faces the subject in The Verging Cities. . . . The Verging Cities doesn’t rely on the sentimentalism of liberal immigrant narratives or commercials designed to garner donations; it doesn’t feel like a movie. Reading the book doesn’t make me feel better. It makes me weep with anger and frustration. It opens the wounds people try to ignore. It calls the ambulance.
— Willy Palomo, "The Verging Cities: Micro Review" Indiana Review
The U.S.-Mexico border and the strained but wondrous connection between El Paso and Ciudad Juárez is the energetic and sometimes tragic setting of Scenters-Zapico’s debut collection of poems. Hers is an insider’s view behind the headlines: the troubled border is also a place teeming with life, thriving with culture and hope. This book is a hard-won love song to one of America’s most misunderstood landscapes.
— Rigoberto González, “Summer Reads: Top 9 Latino Authors” nbcnews.com
Scenters-Zapico recognizes...that text is an inadequate form of resurrection. Yet she must try. ‘Some say, you have no right to talk about the dead. / So I talk of them as living, their bodies standing in the street’s bend,’ she writes. The poet’s words, like flint and tinder, ignite the silence.
— Sandra Beasley, "Flint and Tinder—Understanding the Difference Between 'Poetry of Witness' and 'Documentary Poetics'" Poetry Northwest