‘Seed Bank’: A New Poetry Collection From Gabe Gomez

Editor - October 4, 2012

" 'The Seed Bank' is a series of poems about his relocation to New Mexico and the rebuilding of his life in Santa Fe with his wife..."

Award-winning poet Gabe Gomez will celebrate the release of his new poetry collection, "The Seed Bank", with a reading at Collected Works Bookstore (202 Galisteo St.) on Monday, November 5 at 6 p.m.

"The Seed Bank" is a follow up to his debut poetry collection, "The Outer Bands," which chronicles the days following Hurricane Katrina and the loss of his home in New Orleans. The book was awarded the 2006 Andres Montoya Poetry Prize by the University of Notre Dame Press. "The Seed Bank" is a series of poems about his relocation to New Mexico and the rebuilding of his life in Santa Fe with his wife and it is is being publsihed by Mouthfeel Press, an independent poetry press based in El Paso, Texas.     

Gomez is a poet and music critic who has taught at the University of New Orleans, Tulane University, and the College of Santa Fe. He holds a BA in creative writing from the College of Santa Fe and an MFA in creative writing from Saint Mary's College of California. His first collection of poems "The Outer Bands," won the Andres Montoya Poetry Prize from the University of Notre Dame Press in 2006. In 2009, the City of Santa Fe awarded him his own "day" for service to the Santa Fe Arts and Cultural Community.  He currently works as director of Communications for St. John's College. 

Review copies are available upon request.

Advance Praise for "The Seed Bank"

"Gabe Gómez composes spare and elliptical poems whose “envelopes of waiting seed yield / an epistolary of vine and gerunds.” These poems marvelously conflate endings and beginnings, emptiness and fullness."

—Arthur Sze,, author of "The Gingko Light," Quipu

"There is a permeation of poetic language and memory in Gabe Gómez’s second book of poetry, 'The Seed Bank.' We hear and visualize 'in illo tempore”' in moments of ruination within body and landscape from a natural disaster. And we begin to meditate on the fragmentation of selfhood as 'they stare up to their hands from cold paper / where a clutch of nouns ignite.' Though, even in the midst of catastrophe, words, sound, instill and create a process toward the renovation of person, place, thing; enough for us to experience “its / drinking / of the story.”

—Orlando White, author of "Bone Light"

"In this startling series of linked poems, Gabe Gómez sets into dynamic tension a set of desires that seem at first radically incompatible: the will to change, to “plant” the new and to evolve into new selves, new formations, and the need for history, continuity, loyalty and its architecture, the stability of form. Gómez makes powerful elegant poems of these tensions and attentions, inventing verbal structures to embody the new growth as it “grips down” (as W. C. Williams has it) “and begins to awaken.”

—Stephen Tapscott, author of "From the Book of Changes, Another Body"

" 'The Seed Bank' tells of that place where cultivation is to the cultural landscape what syllables are to a public climate—an “epistolary of vine and gerunds,” visual diffusion, “short sentence river,” or the mercenary timbre of other survivals. In the end, Gabe Gómez works into specific objects of sight and sound the hard matter that is the medium’s condition."

—Roberto Tejada, author of "Exposition Park, Mirrors of Gold"

"This is a book that sows words like seeds in the breach of sense and language, body and place, monument and ruin, self and nation.  "There is material here that will start the rebuilding," Gabe Gómez assures us, and that material is found in the "the foreign / body," the "broken English of immigrants," a "patois," and in "our mother tongue," where "a kind of melody / stifled by letters" tries to "sound out the new world." These seeds, "find patterns / in the mayhem / from patterns in their flight."  The Seed Bank offers hope, then, in the very materials discarded, splintered, unvalued, forgotten in the wake of natural disaster or assimilation or Monsanto: what each of us holds in our hands, our ancient seeds, our memories and nouns, our desires and verbs, our individual and hybrid voices, which can take root anywhere and disrupt the order with a field of wildflowers. We need this book to remind us, again and again, of our strength, our flexible syntax, our "hard breath blooming" against a grammar of destruction."

—Rosa Alcalá, author of "Undocumentaries, The Lust of Unsentimental Waters"