Knees in the Garden is a moody caress of a collection. Rodriguez exemplifies a clear-cut devotion for the intricacies words can convey. These pieces traverse crescendos of melancholic and passionate loves to dance through the kindling of a righteous feminine rage. This work is a testament to self-respect and control and the ability to surrender without losing either.
Before poems, music was my first love. Every moment of my life features a song playing in my head. I love to curate playlists, so long before this book came to life, I started a playlist for the possibility of this collection. Listen to it while you read or during a long walk or drive. Listen to soothe a broken heart or to appreciate a love in your life.
Christina D. Rodriguez is a Latinx poet, entrepreneur, and woman of tech from New York, currently living in Chicago. Her poems have appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, Yes, Poetry, Rust + Moth, and elsewhere; her work has also been published in various anthologies. Christina has received awards for the Frost Place Conference on Poetry and Winter Tangerine’s Catalyze Self-Revolutions workshop. She has performed at the Chicago Public Library, The New York Poetry Festival, and Columbia College Chicago. She is a board member of the Chicago Writers Association as the organization’s social media manager and poetry editor for CWA's The Write City Magazine. She is also a contributor to the Instagram poetry book club, Can We Discuss Poetry. Knees in the Garden (Querencia Press, 2023) is her first collection.
I am a lover of language and a worshiper of making people into altars. I started writing as a way to talk about living with a broken heart, navigating through rejection of my body in many forms. As a writer, I want to make space for the sacred and the mundane, hoping that it transcends into a moment that stays with others, bridging the gap of constant loneliness.
Poem in Your Pocket Day takes place every April during National Poetry Month. You can share a poem in many ways: Social media, handing out copies, recording a video, etc. The Academy of American Poets has a page dedicated to how you can celebrate the day, including poems!
For this year, I made a little something people can print out or download. This is one of the poems from Knees in the Garden. Feel free to share this with everyone you know!
“While biblical references infuse this collection, Rodriguez employs them not so much as a commentary on religion or the notion of God, but rather to show how one’s notion of romantic love might be shaped by blind faith. In poem after poem, we observe the self’s gradual refusal of the agony in her garden, enabling her not only to reclaim her self-worth, but to recover her cultural identity, and ultimately, her true Self.”
—Elsa Valmidiano, author of The Beginning of Leaving and We Are No Longer Babaylan, as reviewed in RHINO
“Rodriguez’s careful syntax paired with consistent alliteration makes for wonderful music in her poetry. Each page is a delight because you don’t know what to expect what poetic style Rodriguez would equip, but at the same time, you could see her poetry’s themes and motifs bleeding into each other and forming its own story. Rodriguez’s words are laced with passion and rage that make the reader breathless.”
—Melis Gördem, author of Visions and contributor in She Will Speak Series: Gender-Based Violence Anthology
"Rodriguez takes us on a journey of styles, from fragmented experimental forms, to prose poems that punctuate the book like confessionals. These were the pieces that have stuck with me for days to come. If this collection was a film, we would have the beautiful metaphorical music montages before being jolted into reality by direct, heart wrenching confessionals from the booth."