Czaerra Galicinao Ucol
Library of Congress Control Number: TBD
Cover Art: Rialin José
Book Design: Maria Bolaños
Paper | 6 x 9 | 63 Pages
Publication Date: September 30, 2023
Distributors: Bookshop.org, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books Inc., Sampaguita Press, and select bookstores
we are the epicenter
of the epicenter.
The debut poetry collection by poet Czaerra Galicinao Ucol.
Czaerra Galicinao Ucol blends emotion, wit, and water sign wisdom in their debut collection, Pisces Urges. They reckon with the hard-earned blessing of being known, the tumult of friendship in all of its forms, and the gentle universal truth that the love found in friendship is water, deep as any. With praise that echoes like a prayer, Galicinao Ucol intertwines anime, gallivanting, thrifted barongs, the joy of being gay, the protective circle of family. In the scales that glimmer under the lake’s surface, our armor can move in soft ways, too.
“Through a capacious interiority of lyric, from the rot and raw and yearning of Filipinx diasporic love and memory, in forms playfully reminding us that we are worthy of the sad, the never-made teen movie, the celebratory, in a Chicago suburb, at the shores of Lake Michigan, in a New York apartment, deep in The Digital Sala, at the gravesite of our beloved Tito Carlos Bulosan, blossoms so quietly, mindfully, bitingly, and lovingly these queer thrift-store potluck poetics to keep us company, to keep our futures fed with rambutan and baon…and more baon”Jason Magabo Perez, San Diego Poet Laureate, author of This is for the mostless
“How I wept as I made my way through these poems. They held my hand through the stinging rubble of friendships broken apart, the grief fog of the pandemic’s epicenter, the persistent ache o f dreams interrupted. Pisces Urges peels back the layers of armor we are wrapped in to allow for us to open ourselves to the raw edges of our hurt. Galicinao Ucol shows us that it is okay to break open, to cry, to ready ourselves for the healing that will follow. Pisces Urges leads through the chrysalis of growing into yourself, a reminder that the hardest things are possible with friends and chosen family by our side.”Christian Aldana, The Water We Swim In
“When I finished reading Pisces Urges, I basked in the afterglow of a story well-told. Czaerra Galiciano Ucol’s emotionally satisfying and assured debut collection took me on the journey of a poet’s loneliness to a sense of belonging, freedom, and exuberance. Their life-affirming journey is set against the backdrop of Midwestern Great Lakes, cicada choruses, and freshwater drum circles. From the joys of baon to breaking gender boundaries with a thrifted barong to the hidden sacrifices of Filipino healthcare workers at the epicenter of the pandemic, and letters to ancestral author Carlos Bulosan, Pisces Urges reclaims Filipino/a/x and queer beauty.”Mary Grace (“M.G.”) Bertulfo, founder of Banyan: Asian American Writers Collective, Earth-centered writer, poet, teacher, lyricist
Czaerra Galicinao Ucol (they/she)
Czaerra Galicinao Ucol (they/she) is a queer Filipino writer from Chicago. A 2020 graduate of the Asian/Pacific/American Studies Program at New York University, their work has appeared in Marías at Sampaguitas, beestung, and Walang Hiya. They are a Best New Poets 2021 and Best of the Net 2021 nominee. They are also the Programs and Communications Director of Luya, a local grassroots poetry organization centering people of color, which was nominated for Best Poetry Organization in Chicago Reader’s Best of 2021 Awards. In their free time, they like cooking new recipes, practicing Filipino Martial Arts, and listening to Lake Michigan’s waves crashing. Their debut chapbook, PISCES URGES, is forthcoming Summer 2023.