Fight Or Flight


In his new collection Fight or Flight, poet, writer, and teacher, Joaquin Zihuatanejo, explores new territory with every turn of the page. The book itself is surprising in that this is the first time Zihuatanejo has written a book that is equal parts poetry and equal parts short stories. The Fight side finds Joaquin in his element as poet. These are all new poems, and in the Fight side of the book Joaquin explores familiar themes in entirely new and exciting ways. The Fight side is filled with hybrids of closed forms, poems written in interconnected couplets, as well as free verse poems with long disconsolate lines. One of the poems in this collection, “Archetypes,” Joaquin considers the most personal poem he’s written to date. He also considers it his best writing to date. You will want to read, and reread, and share these poems with people you love. However, in the other half of the book, the award-winning poet has tackled a new genre. In the collection of short stories that make up the Flight side of the book, you will read about people whose struggles range from marriages on the verge of collapse, to a young, gay man haunted by the memory of his abusive father, to a small Latino boy blinded by a careless swing of a bat, among others. Zihuatanejo went out of his way to write about protagonists who are Latino. Like his first collection of poetry, Barrio Songs, from Bonita Blvd Publications, Joaquin in the second half of his new collection from CoolSpeak Book Publishing wanted to write about people who sounded like his tios, like the mocosos he used to run the streets with, like the people who raised him, like the people he finds in his dreams. One-third poetry collection, one-third short fiction collection, and one-third writing journal, Fight or Flight, by award winning poet, Joaquin Zihuatanejo has something in it for everyone. When asked about it recently, Zihuatanejo simply said, “It’s the best writing I’ve ever done.”