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Rachelle Escamilla

Award Winning Poet


New Release

Space Junk from the Heavenly Palace

As a chunk of the Chinese Space Station, Tiāngōng or 天宫一号 or Heavenly Palace, hurls itself into the Monterey Bay, the main character finds themselves enmeshed in the same colorful, chaotic crashing through spheres of space or voids of phones or the dark empty of love and the self.

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"Like the crash that sets off this book, SPACE JUNK FROM THE HEAVENLY PALACE is equal parts mysterious, fiery, and chaotic. From the outermost coastlines of the deep cosmos, to the purple undersides of a dead crab, these poems traverse the borders of race, class, gender, and sexuality to fiercely interrogate a life at the edges. You will laugh, scream, rage. Escamilla has written a book for the comrades and the comadres, for anyone whose ever had to get lost to find themselves." —Edgar Gomez author of High-Risk Homosexual

“Rachelle Escamilla’s poems pull us away from the shallows and hurl us into the deep-sea canyon where ancestors breathe and beckon to us to feed. ‘I rest in shade / grow gills for the afterlife / type my body to words’ is a taste of the lyrical prowess flowing through this poet and her new work. Trust, you want this book!” —Arlene Biala, Former Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County

Praise & Reviews

“‘I can't tell the difference / between the sky / and / the rows of plastic over dirt in Salinas. / it’s that you are just far enough away to be something like a planet.’ These poems transport us into interior and exterior worlds. When I read the poems in Space Junk from the Heavenly Palace, I find they are portals to several worlds across personal, familial, and cultural histories and mythologies. There are also root systems that build on these strata. Escamilla’s imagination gallantly and graciously includes earth and all of its burdens and beauty. This collection is all of the voices not abandoned despite the shadows of suns in any world, and they are gathered here to talk back, and for us to revive and orbit.” —Janice Lobo Sapigao, author of Microchips for Millions

“This book beheads bullshit & holds the head up to the crowd with a roar, less as an embattled offering and more an exhibit A-Z of life in occupied territory —occupied not just by colonizers, but also gods, space junk, laundry, love, & toilet paper. Rachelle Linda Escamilla's poems aren't just revolutionary/revolutions, they are formal investigations, lyric experiments, and wrenching excavations of the choked histories just under every so-called ‘american’ surface.” —R/B Mertz author of Burning Butch

“Love connects us to what is larger than us and to what is larger within us than we thought we could hold. The speaker in Rachelle Escamilla’s Space Junk from the Heavenly Palace follows that connection where it leads them—emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, politically, erotically—and finds that, in the end, it’s all one journey. Unique to each of us. Common to all of Us.” —Richard Jeffrey Newman, author of The Silence Of Men

"Between the heavenly space and the blissfulness of the earth, this poetry will guide you to the depths of your soul. Another masterful collection of poems by one of the most exciting Latinx poets of the twentieth first century." —Juan Velasco-Moreno Editor of In Xochitl In Cuicatl

See Upcoming Appearances

For updates, please find me on Instagram or Facebook

Thursday, March 2, 2023 Bird & Beckett Books & Records, SF 7PM

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About Me

Rachelle Escamilla is a Chicana poet from the Central Coast of California. Rachelle's award winning first book of poetry, IMAGINARY ANIMAL (Willow Books, 2015/ 2022), is now available as a 2nd edition with a foreword written by Chicano poet Manuel Paul López. Escamilla is the founder of a number of creative writing and poetry programs in the US and China; was the producer and host of the longest running poetry radio show in the US; and was a visiting scholar at the Library of Congress, Hispanic Division where her poetry was recorded for Palabra the library's audio archive and her article, Searching for my Family, about her grandfather's testimony to Congress in 1969 about the working conditions for migrant workers was published by the Library of Congress. Rachelle teaches Contemporary Chincanx/Latinx poetry and Creative Writing Workshops, manages Social Media and Marketing for Philip Glass Days and Nights Festival and works as a model and actress.

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