Lima :: Limón, my second collection, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon Press, Spring 2019.


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”
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