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Sonoran Strange by Logan Phillips

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Sonoran Strange by Logan Phillips is a poem cycle about the Arizona-Sonoran borderlands, as told through the stories of historic, ironic, and sometimes ludicrous characters and events. Phillips’ debut full-length collection, the book is a love-letter to the desert and an indictment of human folly. Phillips’ poetry is universal and historical: he addresses culture, the environment and our borderlands history. Sonoran Strange is a land of contradictions. It is a land of settlement and manifest destiny, a land of indigenous and migrant cultures. The author includes notes on the poems that relay their historical and literary underpinnings for a multi-layered look at Arizona’s collisions. The mashup of imagery and English and Spanish language provides readers with an experience that is both enlightening and entertaining, ritualistic and educational. Phillips, with creative partner Adam Cooper-Terán, has performed the theatrical version of Sonoran Strange across the US and in Europe as an open-air, theater-in-the-round presentation that incorporates video, music, and bilingual spoken word. For more information visit www.sonoranstrange.com.

6 x 9 inches • 110 pages • ISBN 9780991074259

“Here are the wickedly sharp ruminations of a poet who understands that identity of the spirit is inextricably tied to the land; the home and hearth of la tierra. Logan Phillips delivers a richly nuanced and topographical historical trek through the southwest region and her people. Sonoran Strange is a poignant experiential observation by an Arizona native, who deftly poeticizes the vast ironies that occur when the past and present collide. It is a strange beauty, a chorus of migratory voices, mestizaje and mother tongues. It is the melancholy of the conquered, the glittering greed of the colonizers, and yet, is still a defiant solar flare of the perseverance that is the land. Phillips writes with the astute keenness of a realist, through the lens of a surrealist, and with the corazon of the passionate lyricist.”

Jessica Helen Lopez, author of Always Messing with Them Boys and Albuquerque Poet Laureate

 

“From the first page of this moving collection, you know something has shifted: you’re seeing this landscape as if for the first time, with all its beauty and all its scars, in language so precise it burns. Logan Phillips has understood a basic truth about the world we live in now: that political borders may be real, but linguistic and cultural borders are not. In his able hands, this is cause for celebration.”

Daniel Alarcon, author of At Night We Walk in Circles and co-founder of Radio Ambulante

 

“[A] beautiful poem . . . doing what it does best: getting to the heart of our love and life in crazyland Arizona.”

Tucson Weekly

Logan Phillips is a poet, fine artist, and performer based in Tucson, Arizona. He is the author of several chapbooks and a co-director of the performance group Verbobala.