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Reader Review- The Altering Eye

Updated: Jun 10, 2020

BY EMELY RODRIGUEZ (Poet and Creative Writing MFA Candidate)


I was so excited to receive your book! I felt like a fangirl! I immediately went to the table of contents hoping to see some of the pieces I had the pleasure of reading in the poetry / memoir workshop we took together. Then I began reading, and your work came to life before my eyes. Your "writing" voice is captivating from the start. The opening line to "Fixing memory" entrances the readers with this long breathless explanation of how decoding the past is like waking up from a dream. While you decode your past trapped within photographs, the readers are embarking in these dream-like stories; some stories depicting nightmarish-realities of war... like in "Rebel Love."

This book is both that dream-world you talk about that is trapped within photos as well as the realities that are not captured. The design is elegant, intentional, and professional. "The Altering Eye" has the beautiful appearance that any keen-eyed photographer would appreciate, but beyond this, this book gives life to memory. Your words bring the stories to life in a way the photographs couldn't. Together, they are the photographic memory of more than one life.

The Spanish incorporated in your book felt like I could hear the stories... as if the use of it created an “oral-feel” like passing down legends. I think it truly strengthened the “story-telling” that occurs. The stories I read remind me a lot of the ones my parents tell about the civil war in El Salvador and about the people they used to know there. I love the stories about family, especially since my parents grew up in the same Pueblo and sometimes their stories intertwine. I felt like the use of Spanish was similar to how my parents use English when telling me stories in order to emphasize a point to me that was just made in Spanish.

Tremendous job on this book ❤️ 

P.S. I got to say, I felt like I was dancing while I read that scene between you and A– dancing merengue. The pacing of that section was sooooo good. I was totally in your control, and I loved it! 

P.S.SI love all the pictures you’ve been taking of #BLM. Love the lucha! @zoraidadiazpix



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