“In all her many languages and through these prayers and sermons masquerading as poems, Marta wraps her wings around victims of domestic violence, the addict, and each and every broken one of us, seeing only familia in the faces of the dispossessed.
“In well-crafted and big-hearted poems like ‘Addiction’, ‘Social Justice Prayer,’ and How to Eat a Pomegranate,’ she shows us what it means to leave this place better than the way we found it, to love without restrictions, to yoke every injustice to each other in more than words alone.
“Thank the ancestors for gifting us a poet teacher healer who would spit in the master’s soup, in order to save all of us. We survived a past ruled by everything straight, white and male. Marta has left us with evidence that the future is [indeed] female, dark and queer…”
—FRANK X WALKER, Kentucky Poet Laureate 2013–2015 and author of Last Will, Last Testament
“In Cradled by Skeletons, Marta Miranda-Straub gifts her readers a time capsule of poems and essays brimming with precious scenes, fragrances, and voices that stretch from Cuba to Appalachia. To absorb Marta’s life as a self-proclaimed queer woman of color/an Afro-Caribbean/a political refugee feels like sacred work, where we witness women who trade veils for machine guns, copperheads that stretch out to sun in the mountains, moments where the lives of people and Orishas are obliged to intersect, and others where prayer and activism collide on behalf of the collective. Marta’s greatest strength is that her voice remains inclusive and warm and vibrant, as much as she urges her readers to not look away from their pain. In the tradition of her father and shamanic lineage, Marta too, serves as a kind of hollow bone, inviting us not just to read, but to linger, belly to belly, to taste, to share, to breathe.”
—BIANCA LYNNE SPRIGGS, Affrilachian Poet and author of Black Mermaid
“Intersectionality is a buzz-word these days, but Marta Miranda-Straub doesn’t just advocate for it: she embodies it. Originally from Cuba, she calls herself Cubalachian, having lived in the Kentucky mountains and allied with the Affrilachian poets. In Cradled by Skeletons, she articulates her experience as a queer woman of color, a feminist, an immigrant/ refugee, a social worker and worker for social justice. She speaks out for the voiceless, evoking the communal spirit of justice/. . . el spirito de comunidad y justicia. Despite the horrors she has witnessed, her vision is hopeful, committed to change. When she names the current administration’s true agenda as Make America White Again, she jolts us with her clarity and courage.”
—GEORGE ELLA LYON, Kentucky Poet Laureate 2015-2016 and author of Many-Storied House
“Carol Hanisch taught us the truth that the personal is political. Audre Lorde and Gloria Anzaldúa taught us that we sometimes need to speak in multiple voices and multiple genres—that there is no other way to serve as witness to the world and give voice the concert of selves we might contain. Lorde further taught us that we must transform silence into action and self-revelation. Hanisch, Anzaldúa, Lorde, these three sisters and more, many more, stand with Miranda-Straub as she sings her stories in verse and prose. Let us stand beside her and sing.”
—JEREMY PADEN, author of Prison Recipes and ruina montium