Captain's Daughter (novella, 2012, University of
Oklahoma Press, 95 pp.)
In this highly imaginative work of fiction by the
acclaimed author of Mother Tongue, Demetria Martinez
weaves a portrait of six unforgettable characters, whose
lives intertwine through their activism as they seek to
create a better world and find meaning in their own
lives. At the center of this circle of friends is Lupe,
and her heartfelt letters to Destiny punctuate the
Deftly alternating between first-person and
second-person narratives, conscious states and dream
states, The Block Captainís Daughter is full of
delightful surprises, even as it deals with universal
themes of desire and risk, death and birth, and the
powerful ties that bind us together.
Excerpts and Reviews.
The Block Captain's Daughter
These People Want to
Work: Immigration Reform
Fred Harris and Demetria Martinez
studies tied to timely policy recommendations on how to
fix our broken immigration system. Harris and Martinez
know what they are talking about--and what they are
talking about is doing what's right for the millions of
undocumented immigrants who're living in the shadows in
this country and what's in the best interests of the
rest of us, too.
These People Want to Work on Amazon
a children's book by Demetria Martinez and Rosalee
Montoya-Read. Spanish translation by Rosalee
Montoya-Read. Illustrations by Lisa May Casaus. ( 2010, University of New Mexico Press, 30
Alejandra, Daniel and Benjamin go to visit their
grandparents in Northern New Mexico, a strange thing
happens. Grandpa burns a tortilla. When the children
look at it, each one sees a different animal in the burn
marks. But the grownups don't see a thing. Soon the
event causes an uproar in the little town.
Excerpts and Reviews.
Grandpa's Magic Tortilla
(novel, Ballantine Books, 1994, 194 pp)
Mary is nineteen and
living alone in Albuquerque. Adrift in the wake of her
mother's death, she longs for something meaningful to
take her over. Then Jose Luis enters her life. A refugee
from El Salvador and its bloody civil war, Jose Luis has
been smuggled to the United States as part of the
sanctuary movement. Mary cannot help but fall in love
with the movement and the man. And little by little, she
begins to reveal to Jose Luis the part of herself she
has never known.
storyteller ..An unforgettable story."
Weekly (starred review)
"As memorable as
Like Water for Chocolate, Mother Tongue serves the
culture. It will last."
Washington Post Book Review
"It is a great
beauty of a book. I am so proud of Demetria Martinez for
standing with and for the disappeared."
Walker, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 1983
"A book that
becomes more timely every day, in our present political
climate, and deserves the widest possible audience for
its beautiful prose and humanitarian heart."
Kingsolver, author of The Poisonwood Bible
(poetry, The University of Arizona Press, 1997, 60 pp)
Many of the poems in
this book touch on the themes from Mother Tongue, about
an American activist who falls in love with a Salvadoran
political refugee. Weaving together threads of love and
family, social conviction and activism loss and renewal,
Breathing Between the Lines carries the reader deep
inside the head and heart of a Chicana writer.
has been noted mostly for her very political fiction and
reportage/political prose. She is first and foremost,
however, a poet, and she demonstrates in these works
that the personal and the spiritual are truly the most
political works we can write."
Alberto Urrea, author of The Hummingbird's Daughter
Breathing Between the Lines: Poems
Workshop (poetry, The University of Arizona Press, 2002,
In this collection of fifty-three poems, the author of
the award-winning novel Mother Tongue, explores the
themes that have long characterized her writing: the
creative and destructive powers of romantic love, the
failure of political systems, the spiritual life, and
the need to forgive oneself in order to move on with the
work of transformation, both social and personal.
Martinez serves up a heady blend of political and
sensual imagery. Her keen observations and compassionate
voice lead the reader on a journal of self exploration,
of coping with life's mundanities as well as its
heartaches. Through her unquenchable passion for life,
Demetria Martinez leave the devil's workshop and brings
us closer to an understanding of what is real.
"Demetria Martinez's work is forthright and brave. These
slender, evocative poems are also intensely lyrical,
packed with surprising metaphors. This poet has truly
worked the late shift in the heart's sweatshop."
-Maxine Kumin, Pulitizer Prize for Poetry, 1973
The Devil's Workshop: Poems
Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana (poetry,
University of Oklahoma Press, 2005, 173 pp)
Demetria Martinez wields her trademark blend of humor
and irony in this series of revealing essays. She
breaks down the barriers between prayer and action,
between the border denizen and the citizen of the world,
and between patriarchal religion and the Divine Mother.
Martinez also explores her identity as a woman who has
within her the blood of the conquered and the
conqueror, and who must daily contend with yet a third
"Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana
takes the reader on Martinez's journey to answer, or
perhaps to ameliorate, the sense of anguish she
encounters in the individuals she interviews. This
collection of her hard-edged columns succeeds in its
venture to illuminate what can only be described as the
pervasive perplexity of everyday life."
-Norman Mailer, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, 1980
"In the beginning was the word. But then the word was
co-opted by the politicians. And it was not good. Here,
then, is a poet who puts pen to paper to call the
world to order. This is the Gospel according to Santa
Demetria the peacemaker, and it is good."
-Sandra Cisneros, author of Caramelo
"Truthtelling by firsthand witnesses to real life, not
via fad or fatuousness, is what moves a culture to new
levels of insight. Firsthand witness often reveals that
life is a wonderland and darkland all rolled into one.
There is a need for able guides who have dared to delve
into the hinterlands and report back. Intrepid Demetria
Martinez is just such a traveler, truthteller, and
-Clarissa Pinkola Estes, author of Women Who Run with
Confessions of a Berlitz-Tape Chicana