RECENT MENTIONS and reviews
“Antigua is a masterful writer and wrote a book that doesn’t care about treading lightly, but wants you to fully dive into the ocean of exploration; Ugly Music explores identity, sexuality, trauma, and survival.”
“Diannely Antigua’s Ugly Music is a book for our times—sardonic, self-effacing, sincere. The speaker is a bad feminist in the ways that we are all bad feminists—negotiating our desire for equality with the many ways we are imperfect.”
Memories — moments — bubble in her poems, telling it like it is. Like it was. Like it was and is. Antigua said that she is related to the speaker in her poems, but the speaker isn’t her in the present moment.
“It’s exciting to see decades of writing culminating in this moment: my first book,” she says. “It’s the stuff of dreams and nightmares, thinking of all the work, the words and even the tears that have gone into making this book possible.”
Antigua remembers a time when the Newbury Café in Spurk was called “Jitters” and she would spend hours writing there…“The simple act of being back on campus…will be magical…like coming home after being on a long journey and talking to your family about all the things you did while you were gone.”
Dominican American poet Diannely Antigua will give a reading at NECC on Oct. 9.
Antigua reflects on NECC’s role in shaping her career. “NECC saw me grow in insurmountable ways,” she says. “And I’m excited to come back and read from my debut poetry collection, ‘Ugly Music,’ which couldn’t have been possible without this community.”
Valdez talks with Diannely Antigua (c.) and Columbia University professor Deborah Paredez (r.), one of the founders of CantoMundo, at Columbia on Thursday.
In closing, Antigua told the winners she believes in poetry and its power. “I am a firm believer in the responsibility of art. It is the connective tissue of the world,” she says. “Poetry can be the blood, bringing life to that body. Poetry is big.”
Diannely Antigua was just nine years old when she began confiding in her journal. It's a literary practice that has served the Northern Essex Community College alumna well.