"Contemporary poets like Danez Smith, Claudia Rankine, Nicole Homer, Patricia Smith, and a bevy of other brilliant minds have written (and continue to write) poetry about the neo-American subjugation and murder of brown and black bodies. How simply living is a political act, an act of rebellion. Roberto Carlos Garcia has added to the conversation, but in a new mode."
A Book Review of Roberto Carlos Garcia's black / Maybe by Donna Vorreyer.
A Book Review of Roberto Carlos Garcia's Melancolía by Marina Carreira.
"Part history lesson, part memoir, and part love letter, Roberto Carlos Garcia’s black/Maybe: An Afro Lyric explores identity, belonging, and race with grace and frankness."
A Necessary Everyman: A Book Review of Roberto Carlos Garcia’s Melancolía By Tamara Hart
"This collection of poetry is not overtly political and that is where its radical power lies. Garcia manages to paint a portrait of a man, who is in a way an “everyman”- father, husband, son, dreamer, mower of his lawn - a man longing for the “want” and stuck in the “should.”
"If melancolía is a mystery in Garcia’s first collection, black/Maybe is a poetic exploration of identity, self, and history, which in the spirit of Aimé Césaire’s Negritude “[takes] charge of one’s destiny as a black man, of one’s history and culture.” This collection is framed by two lyric prose pieces: “Home [An Irrevocable Condition]” and “black Maybe.” In the latter, Garcia asserts, “America thrusts black or white upon you quickly, you have to decide, you have to know who and what you are.” This question of identity, of self is richly investigated through polyphonic lyrics, a chorus of elders and black and brown scholars, an honest examination of family and Dominican history, and vulnerable personal narratives."
At the same time, while echoing James Baldwin, Amiri Baraka, and Ismael Rivera, among others, Garcia places his story within the larger, deeper context of U.S. history and European colonization. The result is a book that successfully blends the personal with the political against a broader historical backdrop.
Roberto Carlos Garcia