By Pacific Island Times News Staff
“Navigating CHamoru Poetry” focuses on indigenous CHamoru poetry from Guam. Poet and scholar Craig Santos Perez brings critical attention to a diverse and intergenerational collection of CHamoru poetry and scholarship.
Throughout this book, Perez develops an indigenous literary methodology called “wayreading” to navigate the complex relationship between CHamoru poetry, cultural identity, decolonial politics, diasporic migrations, and Native aesthetics.
Perez argues that contemporary CHamoru poetry articulates new and innovative forms of indigeneity rooted in CHamoru customary arts and values, while also routed through the profound and traumatic histories of missionization, colonialism, militarism, and ecological imperialism.
“Navigating CHamoru Poetry” shows that CHamoru poetry has been an inspiring and empowering act of protest, resistance, and testimony in the decolonization, demilitarization, and environmental justice movements of Guam.
Perez roots his intersectional cultural and literary analyses within the fields of CHamoru studies, Pacific Islands studies, Native American studies, and decolonial studies, using his research to assert that new CHamoru literature has been—and continues to be—a crucial vessel for expressing the continuities and resilience of CHamoru identities.
“Navigating CHamoru Poetry” is a vital contribution that introduces local, national, and international readers and scholars to contemporary CHamoru poetry and poetics.
Perez discussed poetry by Chamoru authors, such as Cecilia Perez, Peter Onedera, Lehua Taitano, Kisha Borja-Quichocho-Calvo, Anne Perez Hattori, Michael Lujan Bevacqua, Melvin Won Pot-Borja and Frederick Quinene, among others.
“The common theme is how Chamoru identity, culture, politics, and history is expressed through poetry,” Perez said. “This is my first academic book.:
Perez previously published five poetry books and co-edited six anthologies. The CHamoru poet from Mongmong, is a professor at the English Department of the University of Hawai'i in Manoa.
Released in January, “Navigating CHamoru Poetry” was published by the University of Arizona Press. It is available on amazon.com.