Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge is a feminist collection of poetry straddling borders, and arose when daughter of Mexican immigrants, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo, traveled from Los Angeles to the Tucson-Sector of the U.S.-Mexico border in August 2011 to volunteer with the humanitarian aid organization, No More Deaths. She hoped to gain a concrete understanding of the "wall," and the result was a book illustrating a speaker driven to activism by a need to honor her family's journey.
"I am moved by Xochitl-Julisa's work, her embrace of familia, of places long gone and present, of abandoned things too, near or in a neighborhood house yet filled with luminous power as a 'black lava molcajete, ' a 'mano, ' and many kinds of cacti-enduring, inscrutable, fierce, & makers of nectar. Perhaps her verses are gazing at the border-crosser-perhaps at you and me. I found joy in Bermejo's work, her caring journeys, places I have traveled. Her touch is that of an artist. Unique, light, and expansive in its humanity. Bravissimo, Xochitl-Julisa!" - Juan Felipe Herrera, Poet Laureate of the United States "Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo's poems rattle the heart, jolt the mind. Moving from the 'tender emerald bites' of nopales shared around a table to the brutal desert terrain crossed by immigrants, she interrogates the intimate and the political. Inventive, glimmering with Spanish, her language punctures silence and makes visible resilience. Her language is also curious; it's shaped by the work of Georgia O'Keeffe and Frida Kahlo, and it cruises through the city of Los Angeles. These poems weren't written to provide solace. These poems will break you in a thousand beautiful ways." - Eduardo C. Corral, 2011 Yale Younger Poets Prize winner for Slow Lightning "Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo's poems are a haunting vortex from Mexican America, detailed with the items we share, the stories, the names, the old country memories, and also deserts, many, many deserts. Her voice is formidable, her language clear and complex at the same time. Here's a millennial poet that goes beyond the millennium." -Luis J. Rodriguez, Poet Laureate of Los Angeles and Founding Editor of Tia Chucha Press "In her debut poetry collection, Posada: Offerings of Witness and Refuge, Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo explores what it means to live on the border, a literal and figurative image that takes on multiple meanings. There are the rich and vibrant stories of her Mexican grandparents and parents, stories she carries with her and finds still relevant in modern-day Los Angeles; there is a traditional view of womanhood and the reality of being a contemporary woman in the United States; there is a straddle of Spanish and English, a clamor of tongues; there is the dividing actual line between Mexico and the United States, which people risk their lives to cross each day. To the people, not so different than herself, she writes, 'I promise you are not invisible, nor discarded, people traveling when the land is dark.'" -Terry Wolverton, Author of Embers"