"'Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien' brilliantly expands the conversation on undocumented migration by tracing the legacy of illegality. Claiming 'every crossing becomes mine, ' Alan Pelaez Lopez, as fugitive alien, bravely takes on the task of traveling across galaxies to reach an elsewhere that is something more like a new holding. Against the failure of political language, this book of multimedia poems becomes a verb, an active imagining that takes the banality of papers and transforms it into poetry. This intergalactic traveling brings the 'Black NDN' migrant touchingly back to their mother's arms, and to her vision for life. If illegality is to be their legacy, Alan reimagines that illegality as both disruptive of settler-futures and productive for black and indigenous futures. We should be immensely grateful for this vision."
--Javier O. Huerta, author of 'American Copia: An Immigrant Epic'
"This is a stunning book. It's history, it's their story, it's an archive and a hard drive with a playful vibe. Its sense of humor girds and grounds and gallops around the gravity of law and belonging and erasure and choosing words and narratives and modes that were made without people like us in the room. It revels in colonial language as it tells that language to sit the f down. There's a new b on the scene. Take note and pay your respects."
--Tommy Pico, author of 'Feed'
Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien is an experimental poetry collection that renders an intimate portrait of growing up undocumented in the United States. Through the use of collages, photographs, emails, and immigration forms, Alan Pelaez Lopez formulates theories of fugitivity that position the Trans*Atlantic slave trade and Indigenous dispossession as root causes of undocumented immigration. Although themes of isolation and unbelonging are at the forefront of the book, the poet doesn't see belonging to U.S. society as a liberatory practice. Instead, Pelaez Lopez urges readers to question their inheritance and acceptance of "settler rage, settler fear, and settler citizenship," so that they can actively address their participation in everyday violences that often go unnoticed. As the title invokes, Intergalactic Travels breaks open a new galaxy where artists of color are the warriors that manifest the change that is needed not only to survive, but thrive.
Excerpts appear at:
Pittsburgh Poetry Review
A Quiet Courage
About the Author
Alan Pelaez Lopez is an AfroIndigenous poet, installation, and adornment artist from Oaxaca, México. They are the author of the art and poetry collection, 'Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien' (The Operating System, 2020), and the chapbook, 'to love and mourn in the age of displacement' (Nomadic Press, 2020). Their poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, as well as published in Best New Poets, Best American Experimental Writing, POETRY, Puerto Del Sol, Everyday Feminism, & elsewhere. Pelaez Lopez has received fellowships and/or residencies from Submittable, the Museum of the African Diaspora, VONA/Voices, and UC Berkeley. They live in Oakland, CA & the internet (as @MigrantScribble).