poetry by Paco Márquez
Reveling in the mystic wonders that can emerge even from “the palm of a corporate boss,” the poems of Paco Márquez “splash the sky wide,” exposing the magic in the quotidian — the “unnoticed silhouettes / imprinted in the grass.” In the tender violence of these portraits, “that which spoke the rose into being” also hums through daily life, holding a man’s hand, looking him in the eye, and saying, “the kitchen window is open.” To open this book is to see the world illuminated.
Originally from Mexico, Paco Márquez immigrated with his family to Sacramento at age 13. He studied philosophy at UC Berkeley and then worked at several jobs — collections, rent-a-car, a tenant-rights non-profit, public library, and the family business: a card-room. He served as a board member of the Sacramento Poetry Center and Los Escritores del Nuevo Sol before moving to New York to acquire an MFA in poetry at NYU. Some of his poems can be found in Apogee, Ostrich Review and Huizache, as well as on a public mural on Sacramento’s Del Paso neighborhood through the Del Paso Words on Walls Project. He was featured on Columbia University’s WKCR 89.9 FM’s Studio A, and in I Know No Country, a short film directed by Antonio Salume which won NYU’s Spring 2016 Sight & Sound Documentary Film Festival (both available online). As a Spanish-language editor, he also assisted with William O’Daly’s translation of Pablo Neruda’s first book, Crepusculario / Book of Twilight (Copper Canyon Press, 2017). Márquez resides in New York City, where he teaches poetry to children and high school students. He lives with his partner of 12 years.