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Angel N Garcia, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This project, “Palíndromo,” consists of a critical introduction to the work and a sample of the creative work from said project and Teeth Never Sleep (many of the poems written while at University of Nebraska Lincoln). If there is no singular origin, such is true in the case of my family: that loss of origin is further amplified by generations of (im)migration within Mexico and the United States. Juan de la Cruz Palma’s grandson, my great grandfather Narciso Palma Azueta, was the first migrant moving between states in the Yucatán peninsula and abroad, sending home photos and postcards to his family in Progreso. While these few photos and postcards offer writing to loved ones and chart his change in location over at least two decades, they reveal little about the man himself. More interestingly though, in relation to the familial narratives constructed and those not yet constructed, this dissertation explores the emotional toll of abandonment and displacement that shows itself in familial patterns of behavior. The title, “Palíndromo,” a play on the definition of palindrome, refers to the need to read forward and backward in time in response to transnational migration and its consequences. These patterns too can be read forward and backward, and serve if nothing else, as a cartography of that emotional trauma experienced intergenerationally. In the case of my family in Mexico and in the United States, the childhood home and the grave are ephemeral. The childhood home has been precariously disrupted by diaspora. Some of the motivating factors for such mobility differ across time but are rooted in familial inheritances and disinheritances, poverty and economic opportunity, and leaving and/or shifting children to the care of relatives as a result of serial migration. Other reasons coincide with the Mexican Revolution, the Caste Wars of the Yucatán peninsula, the Mexican-American War and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. One can imagine, similarly to the idea of a childhood home, or the spaces in between, the literal grave and the idea of the grave too become disrupted by mobility. The grave itself, in many instances, is merely a ghost.

Subject Area

Creative writing

Recommended Citation

Garcia, Angel N, "Palíndromo" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI27958990.