Scar On / Scar Off


Product Details

Stalking Horse Press
Publish Date
5.24 X 7.99 X 0.2 inches | 0.23 pounds

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About the Author

Jennifer Maritza McCauley is a writer, poet, and professor. She has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Kimbilio, CantoMundo, and the Sundress Academy for the Arts. She holds an MFA from Florida International University and a PhD in creative writing and literature from the University of Missouri. The author of the cross-genre collection Scar On/Scar Off, she is an assistant professor of literature and creative writing at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.


..".Jennifer Maritza McCauley's poetry breaks my heart. It's so, so fantastic..." --Joanna C. Valente, Luna Luna

..".No matter which genre you want to prowl, [McCauley's] there, at home and decidedly not with words whose kinship has been thrust upon them, and whose new reals she has taken up the mantle of honoring and ameliorating. How fortunate we are that our recognition of discomfort and pain in constant acclimation is softened by [McCauley's] curiosity and graciousness with even the prickliest of it. How much better suited we are, when we listen, to being the citizens of the future we need now to be..." --Marc McKee, host of the Next Weather Series and author of Fuse (Black Lawrence Press, 2011) and Bewilderness (Black Lawrence Press, 2014.)

..".McCauley gives her characters the ability to express metaphor and feeling in their conversations even as she uses metaphor in her descriptive prose..." --Anne Graue, New Pages

..".No matter the genre--[McCauley] uses rhythm and voice to create music from words..." --Aarik Danielsen, Columbia Daily Tribune

"McCauley's debut collection of poems and prose immediately made me a fan. She wields 'rebel language' that goes straight for the heart and soul, weaving tales that make a reader shiver and sigh. She's fearless, forthright, but never glib or gaudythis is honest writinga voice that is thrilling to witness. The truths this poet reveals are not pretty, but she handles them with an earned grace, a street-tested vibe. This collection is far more than 'black girl magic, 'it's 'black woman essential.'" Allison Joseph, author of 'Confessions of a Barefaced Woman'

"This book! It moves and breathes and sings like a living organism. The pulse is vital, the insights sharp as a blade. Who speaks truth to power this way: 'Tell them we been mournin' bullet-warmed/ blood long before they told us: now this is how/ you interpret a death?' Who strikes the page with such a necessary question: 'how boring/is your/ego that my/darkface/still bothers/you/this much?' Jennifer Martiza McCauley is the answer: an essential, undaunted, luminous new voice who carries within her many voices, many stories. Scar On/Scar Off is poetry that conjures and skewers our fractured zeitgeist." --Julie Marie Wade, author of 'Catechism: A Love Story' and 'When I Was Straight'

"There is a type of loss that cannot be represented, though its feeling can be caught, like a yawn as wide as the place where endings meet beginnings. When I read Jennifer Maritza McCauley, I feel like I'm falling into myself, snagged on something I forgot to look at while I was busy mourning some other, closer loss. My hand is being guided across the page, salty words lapping up into my wounds. I remember I have lost something. I remember we have lost something, and I can see its outline, like the lips of an open mouth. Words spill back into it, reminding me why I first came to language." --Raquel Salas Rivera, author of 'Caneca de anhelos turbios' and 'lo terciario/the tertiary'

"McCauley's poetry breaks my heart. It's so, so fantastic." --Joanna C. Valente, author of 'Marys of the Sea'

"McCauley's poetry is the real deal! Fiercely feminine and exceedingly humane, 'Scar On/Scar Off' will surprise, delight, and then heal some part of you that you didn't even know was hurting." --Denise Duhamel, author of 'Blowout'

"McCauley confidently narrates how a body, a black body 'big as God and filled with all kinds of delicate weather' navigates through this world while also inhabiting a brown body within. It is difficult to be in a bar alone, men beckoning. It is difficult to say Beyonce videos make us teary-eyed. It is difficult to admit I am this, despite looking like this, and sounding like that. These poems ring all the sides of McCauley's Afro-Latina experience as she writhes discomfort into deft introspection. McCauley's work displays how black/brown skin has limits, complexities, a multiplicity of fears and joys. SCAR ON/SCAR OFF is a brave and necessary debut." --F. Douglas Brown, author of 'Zero to Three'