Rev. of the Pink Box by Yesenia Montilla

Original post by Marlene Galván found here:

The Pink Box is a collection of gracefully written, but sometimes heartbreakingly beautiful poems by Yesenia Montilla. A running thread through the collection, Montilla uses the image of the “pink box” to anchor the reader as she tackles very personal and sometimes very sensitive issues. The narrator of the poem for which the collection is named asks questions about the box itself – where it was purchased, where the box lives, if it was constructed “by women / in the rainforest who specialized” specifically in pink boxes. These questions asked by the narrator allude to issues surrounding commodification of female art and mythologies surrounding female artists. Montilla uses her box, this collection, to discuss a barrage of different topics including food, family, race, culture, traditions, living in New York city, love, sex, masturbation, music, addiction, popular culture, and a deep appreciation for poems and poets.

While Montilla balances bluntness and humor as well as empathy and anger in her discussions of poetry and pop culture, it is the poems that tackle some of the most tender of women’s issues that prove to be her most powerful. Montilla’s collection flows from poem to poem and section to section with ease. She beautifully guides the reader through her story of a life, developing characters, ingraining images on readers, and discussing experiences of gender and race. 

Yesenia Montilla is a New York City poet whose work often draws from her Afro-Caribbean roots. A 2014 Canto Mundo Fellow, she received a BA from Hunter College and an MFA from Drew University.
The Pink Box 
is a publication by Willow Books. 

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