Publication / “Revolutionary Reading List” Tarpaulin Sky Magazine

April 27, 2017

The lovelies at Tarpaulin Sky Magazine asked me to send along what I’m reading for their ongoing series – here is WHAT I’M READING BY QUINTAN ANA WIKSWO.  These are the texts of revolution… These texts – not poems, not fictions, not prose, but rather, I think, expressions – dive into the world of flesh, pain, revolution, and the sublime. They are part of a reading-and-writing list for the youth at the New Mexico Juvenile Detention Center that my comadres and I are teaching. They speak to the institutions of limitation and the melding of body and psyche required to elevate beyond them. And, in many cases, destroy them. Whether calling for the end of prisons, the end of gendered genitalia, the end of capitalist vacation industries, or the end of numbness, these writers are all possessed by and priestesses over language, a wriggling, animalistic force to be inhabited, a conveyance of resistance, a sexual expression of pain as well as pleasure.

This is perhaps my favorite passage: 

Haydée Santamaría, Cuban Revolutionary: She Led By Transgression by Margaret Randall

“I think it has to be difficult for people to be violent, to go to war, but you’ve got to be violent and go to war if it’s necessary…What you can’t lose in that kind of situation is your humanity…When someone had to place a bomb during the war, and in the underground sometimes I was the one who had to decide who was going to do that…I always chose the best, the one who had the highest consciousness, the greatest human qualities, so that whoever it was wouldn’t get used to placing bombs, wouldn’t get pleasure out of placing bombs, so it would always hurt him to have to do that.” — Haydée Santamaría

I hope you’ve read and enjoyed these books too, or if not that you, too, fall in love. 


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