A Crown for Gumecindo

  By Laurie Ann Guerrero, Paintings by Maceo Montoya

Aztlan Libre Press

Dedicated and addressed to the poet’s grandfather, A Crown for Gumecindo is a heroic crown of sonnets that chronicles the first year of grief experienced due to the loss of the family patriarch. Through 15 linked sonnets, journal entries, and meditations, Guerrero reexamines the lessons she inherited, both intentionally and unintentionally, through the careful dissecting of the multigenerational, multilingual, and multifaceted male-female relationship. Also examining the role of the writer, Guerrero draws upon various histories—personal, social, literary—in order to expose the uncertainties encountered in a time of mourning. Visual artist and poet Maceo Montoya also draws upon his histories, contributing 15 paintings inspired by Guerrero’s sonnets that offer readers a layered experience of the tender and often shocking revelations of grief.

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Selected Praise

"For the chiaroscuro that Laurie Ann Guerrero’s poetry renders in compelling language and form, the stark and visceral paintings of artist Maceo Montoya illustrates in bold images that alternately compliment or contrast the poet’s subject. One thing that remains consistent between these two mediums: one always proves necessary in shedding light on the other. This dance between sonnet and painting, image and verse, coupled with the refined hand of craftsmanship from both artists, is what makes A Crown for Gumecindo a rare kind of gem."


- Tim Z. Hernandez, from the foreword

“This crown of sonnets and the Maceo Montoya paintings that accompany them embody the complexity and depth of elegy. Wrought from both love and anguish, Guerrero, one of our finest lyric poets…invites us to the complex and dense universe of familial bonds.”


- Carmen Giménez Smith