Hybrida

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The word hybrid translates from the latin word hybrida, a variant of mongrel or a creature of mixed breed. The poems in this collection are an examination of mixed race through the lens of motherhood as well as an open interpretation of violence, collision of selves, and histories. Through the hybrid forms of zuihitsu, ghazal, prose poems, ekphrastic poems, mosaic poems, lists, and lyric essays, the collection envisions a childhood of mixed race as one that is complex, emotionally wrought, and often dangerous in a post-Trayvon Martin era. Hybrida also meditates on the lives of Michael Brown, Leiby Kletzky, Noemi Álvarez Quillay, young lives lost at the hands of individuals entrusted to protect them. Underlying themes of race, are aspects of fairy tale. The vulnerable figures of young boys and girls are set against reoccurring characters of the witch and the hunter, further commenting on the sinister nature of predators as protectors. All the while, Chang ruminates on a son’s blackness in relationship to safety and asks, “How do I speak of his identity without appropriating his identity? I return to the language of mothers.”