féi hernandez’s Hood Criatura is a reimagination of possible futures, of trans, queer, immigrant, Black, and Brown lives celebrated in all of their unbounded glory. hernandez’s poems take us through a coming-of-age story that delineates the existential wars of gender, race, sexuality, and im/migration, as well as the pains and joys that bind communities, family, and love. In a world that seeks to simplify and reduce the self to binary boundaries, Hood Criatura serves as a reminder of what it means to exist unbounded, to claim all of the multitudes within us that make us who we are.
hernandez makes it clear that understanding ourselves comes as we understand our communities and the roles we play in each others’ lives. To that end, these questions focus on our relationships to our hometowns, to Hood Criatura, to hernandez as an individual and as an author. They encourage us to convene in humility and respect, for our fellow readers and for the text.
- What was your favorite poem, or one you returned to? Why?
- How do the parenthetical identifiers in “(resident)(illegal) / (trans)(American) / (hood)(non-binary)” intervene in our reading experiences? In this poem and Hood Criatura, what makes someone or something American?
- In “Brunch,” hernandez talks about American identity and intersectionality over “dumb dry” pancakes. Are we at the table with hernandez? Or, in other words, what is the audience’s role in Hood Criatura and their relationship to the text?
- In “Before Being Flung on the Telephone Wire,” hernandez writes, “i am what she envisages, my palms and feet nailed to a cross; a mirage / showing the world we’re all mid-flight somewhere”. Where are you mid-flight to, and what do you imagine as your destination?
- What would you describe as the collection’s primary emotion or tone?
- hernandez writes, “the city is sick unrooted apartments pulse / blue with internal bruisin yet the organs / bump to a track we call joy we call this / inglewood our home and we rep”. What feelings do you have towards your hometown? What does it mean to be a resident?
- How does TenQú, hernandez’s acknowledgments section, read as an extension of the work?