Book of Poetry
Even the Milky Way is Undocumented, Unsolicited Press (forthcoming 2020).
“Amy Shimshon-Santo’s EVEN THE MILKY WAY IS UNDOCUMENTED is a testament to the lost, the loved, the courageous. Each poem is the past and the future. Each page turns for those built by families that span political borders — families that see borders as nothing more than lines drawn by an invisible hand that’s long forgotten that we belong to the earth and not the other way around.”
— Unsolicited Press
“Amy Shimshon-Santo’s poems are the words of a survivor, a warrior, and a creator. Time and again, across borders and languages, her writing takes us into sensuous and deeply emotional places, finding beauty and rootedness and meaning in everyday moments and extraordinary landscapes.”
— Héctor Tobar, Author of Deep Down Dark
“I’ve decided to dress my body / in blessings,” a poem called “grace” announces, toward the end of this wonderful collection by Amy Shimshon-Santo. Which does not mean that blessings come easy: these poems know deaths and betrayals, police killings and sexual assaults, and a parent’s everyday fears for her children’s lives, but on the power of ritual and music they emerge into strength and grace. A couple of the poems – “no (no. 10)” and “a good fuck poem (definition),” maybe others – are already underground anthems being passed from hand to hand. The body and the natural world are one in Amy’s work; languages and lives are “borderless,” ever crossing and re-crossing; and words from her pen are “strings of indigo light.”
— Dan Bellm, Author of Deep Well
“My imagination/is ambidextrous,” writes Amy Shimshon-Santo; so is this stunning collection. These poems are deeply rooted in the body and reach for the stars; they are spacious enough to hold the pain of police brutality and the beauty of an apricot tree, to both interrogate and celebrate, to hold a yes on their lips and a no in their pocket. The poet calls the reader “beloved” in the very first poem, and each page of this collection is suffused with love, with “a grammar/made of kindness”—the kind of love that is unafraid to show you the truth; the kind of love that reminds you to listen, to pay attention, to live. A beautiful and stirring achievement.”
— Gayle Brandeis, Author of The Art of Misdiagnosis
“This is a truly fine piece of writing — an essay, a story or a poem, all or none of these, or it is the form that the wise broken heart finds for words that see, discern, break and unite. I keep thinking that we can’t continue to write what must be said only in the old forms because form determines content. Words break out of form as a break out of confinement as well.”
— Deena Metzger, Author of A Rain of Night Birds
“I urge you to discover the poetic beauty of Los Angeles’ very own Amy Shimshon-Santo. Her voz magnífica will leave you breathlessly glowing in the dark. Amy’s rhymes are alive and connect with your cuerpo, your body, your mind, and every desire in between. Her voice and verses will satisfy your poetic cravings. Embrace the gift of these poems.”
— Adrian Ernesto Cepeda, Author of Flashes and Verses
“Shimshon-Santo’s debut collection rings with music—we need more men like these poems, more women, more human beings with “shark teeth grinning / at the spools of happiness / stored inside.” The poetry of Even The Milky Way Is Undocumented devours a whole life lived, leaving bare Shimshon-Santo’s vulnerable bones: the work breathes simultaneously political, maternal, erotic and furious. The world hungers for more books like this.”
— Joshua Roark, Editor of Frontier Poetry
“single motherhood is a party,”Poetica: Inner Circle Poetry Group Writer’s Anthology of Poetry 2019, Clarendon House Books, United Kingdom.
“evacuation” and “arma virumque cano”, Yes Poetry (June 2019)
“all the things (he never said),” “piñata (effigy),” and “what’s time anyway?” Anti-Heroin Chic (May 2019)
“grace” and “ambidextrous” in Rag Queen Periodicals (March 2019)
“cabelo” Anti Heroin Chic (January 2019)
“mantra para votar / mantra to vote,” PCC Inscape Magazine (2018)
“mandala to unravel deception” and “attention,” Full Blede, Issue Six: The Parapraxis (2018)
“ontology of feeling” and “wishbone,” Awkward Mermaid Lit Mag (2018)
“hopscotch,” Yes Poetry (2018)
“good fuck poem (a definition)”, Rose Quartz Journal (2018).
“borderless” Lady Liberty Lit (2018). Nominated for 2018 Best of the Net.
“the descendent” Zocalo Public Square (2017).
“naked congress” Lady Liberty Lit (2017).
“(of course) we are in the same room,” Spectrum 3 (2016).
Summer of Mourning (2015)
Empty Nest (2013)
Democracy (2012 / Letterpress)
Alphabet Quest (2012)
Writing with Nina (2011) for National Endowment for the Arts’ Big Read program at the William Grant Still Art Center.
Speaking in Signs (2010)
Tree Fruit (2009)
“Writers Read: Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky With Exit Wounds,” LunchTicket, May 22, 2017.
“Mother Artist” (Letterpress Broadside) exhibited in Breaking in Two, Arena 1 Gallery, Pacific Standard Time, LA Times. 2012.