Bougainvillea by Elizabeth Quiñones-Zaldaña


Quiñones-Zaldaña’s world is exquisitely lovely and loving, making the grief of being disenfranchised personal. She reaches out to us all, teaches us how swiftly those considered “others” can become “you,” and how to be with each other no matter what: “Should you find yourself / Sojourner, dispossessed / Of a common language / In cities of hostile observance / Or among their milder companions // I am with you.”

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Elizabeth Quiñones-Zaldaña’s BOUGAINVILLEA is full of the light and vibrant color of the vine, as well as the joy and suffering of the arid places where it grows. Her poetry is infused with intelligence, philosophical rigor, and deep familial and spousal love entwined with themes of exile, displacement, and identity. Her unflinching eye paints the land-and-cityscape of Las Vegas: “Every person…wonders / In their native language, how to cross without waiting.” This is the book we need right now when human rights atrocities against Latinx people are committed in our name.

Elizabeth Quiñones-Zaldaña earned a BA in English from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her poetry has been published in From Snowcaps to Desert Flats: An Anthology of Latino Writers in Nevada; Legs of Tumbleweeds, Wings of Lace: An Anthology of Literature by Nevada Women; Clark: Poetry from Clark County, Nevada; and 300 Days of Sun. Her poetry has also been featured in visual art exhibits through the Nevada Humanities Program Gallery and the Las Vegas Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Elizabeth has served as a judge for the Nevada Arts Council’s 2017 youth Poetry Out Loud Recitation Competition, as a panelist for the Las Vegas Book Festival’s 2018 “Heart of Poetry: Nevada Voices,” and as a poet-educator through other Nevada Arts Council and Nevada Humanities educational programs. She lives in southern Nevada with her husband and three children.

Bougainvillea by Elizabeth Quiñones-Zaldaña
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