From the Foreword:
A unique glimpse at a special region known to some as borderlands, this anthology of persona poems gives articulate voice to the many peoples and periods that have made their mark on this scarred and sacred land of deserts and rivers, Indian petroglyphs and fifty-foot marionettes, haciendas and Air Force bases, this ground so varied in climate and culture but so unified in spirit. The spirit of this terra incognita fits its original definition as "unknown territory," for unknown also implies undefined and therefore unbound, open to interpretation. The reach of these voices is both global and personal. From "Years Following Her Death, Former Texas Slave Silvia King Speaks to a Kidnapped Nigerian Girl" to "Chester Nez Arriving at Guadalcanal, 1942," these are human voices in all their honesty and depth of caring.
The range of voices here is as beautiful and translucent as a rainbow. From Cochise to Calamity Jane, Navajo Code Talkers to Japanese internees, Devil Girl and Old Man Gloom, slaves and stunt pilots, Paiutes and migrant mothers, Annie Oakley and Georgia O'Keeffe, security officers and French tourists, Gregorio Cortez, La Llorona, and Cynthia Ann Parker -- all come to life here, speak their own truths and their own sacred space in these poems. The beauty of their lives shines through in a history that refuses to be erased, voices that refuse to be silenced.
Singular for its balance and its stance against inhumanities like racism and sexism, this anthology keeps a truly holistic perspective on what this region emanates in its spirit, its courage, and its beauty. This is one of the most unique, diverse, and authentically exciting portrayals of the voices of the Southwest I have seen because it has told the many sides of the story and plumbed the many layers of history, taking us beyond our own shallow and thin-voiced prejudices and into the fullness of a rich and powerful harmony of many varied songs of human experience.
Carmen Tafolla, State Poet Laureate of Texas 2015-2016