A traditional game of chance popular in Mexico and in Mexican American culture, Lotería is poetically rendered in Esteban Rodríguez’s eighth collection, with each poem revolving around one of the fifty-four cards. Using the image presented as a catalyst for exploration and self-reflection, Rodríguez unveils the familial journey between two countries and cultures through both a surreal and narrative lens. Here, a mother unearths a severed hand in the desert. A father discovers his heart among a heap of discarded items. And at one point, the speaker—toggling between his role as witness and son—finds himself in a canoe on a river contemplating the meaning behind an authentic experience. Lyrical, insightful, and honestly engaging, Lotería sheds light on a world that doesn’t so easily reveal itself, adding to Rodríguez’s prolific and important oeuvre.
This Special Edition is in the form of a deck of la lotería playing cards. Each card features one of the 54 la lotería images on one side, and the corresponding poem by Esteban Rodríguez on the other. Art by Alyssa Garcia.
The Sabine Series in Literature
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Published by Texas Review Press