banana [ ]
The poems in Paul Hlava Ceballos’s debut collection banana [ ] reveal the extractive relationship the United States has with the Americas and its people through poetic portraits of migrants, family, and personal memories. At the heart of the book is a long poem that traces the history of bananas in Latin America using only found text from sources such as history books, declassified CIA documents, and commercials. The book includes collage, Ecuadorian decimas, a sonnet series in the voices of Incan royalty at the moment of colonization, and a long poem interspersed with photos and the author’s mother’s bilingual idioms. Traversing language and borders, history and story, traditional and invented forms, this book guides us beyond survival to love.