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First Edition: December 2013
Second edition: November 2016
Part Valley strip mall heaven memoir, part encyclopedia of transistor feelings, part lonely caregiver, part philosopher pen pal, and so totally the book the 90s owe the world, Feliz Lucia Molina's genre scuzzing debut "povel" Undercastle is a deft and defiant A-B-Up-Down combo of curiosity and intimacy that chews up all our screens and heroes and fills our breath with glint.
Cover photo by Haruhiko Kawaguchi
• DESCRIPTION •
Feliz Lucia Molina
was born and raised in San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, to Filpino immigrant parents who ran crisis heterotopias from the early 1980s to mid 2000s.
A fellow for poetry at Kundiman and The MacDowell Colony, she has received grants and funding to be a writer resident at Camac Centre d'Art in France, Mustarinda House in Finland, The Unifiedfield Nomadic Artist Residency in the Philippines, and Can Serrat in Spain.
Her books include The Wes Letters (co-authored with Ben Segal and Brett Zehner), Crystal Marys, and Roulette.
Based in Chicago and the high desert town of Landers with Ben Segal, she makes chapbooks for Museum Of Expensive Things, is a poetry editor for Los Angeles Review of Books, and is currently at work on a third collection of poems, Thundercastle.
"My address is these poems. It's amazing here! Dear Feliz, this is a love letter saying we're about to give your book the Pulitzer Prize without the committee's consent! Feliz Lucia Molina is the best kind of genius, she's a poet, she believes in our phoenix rising!" CAConrad
"Feliz Molina's Undercastle examines our collective experiments in image and knowledge production, on the Internet and in 'real life.' As we navigate distance and intimacy in these unknown space-times, Undercastle develops a poetic and political epistemology of real and phantom limbs. With a tender and honest wit, this book gives verse to gendered, racialized, and nationalized bodies, their memories and meaning making. As Molina puts it, 'It's possible now to live in a world that doesn't exist. / Is this a relief or is it the Internet?'" Alli Warren
5 poems in The Scrambler
"Undercastle" in 3:AM Magazine
"Origami Casket" in NOΦ Journal
"Because That Light is Hella Holy" in Jellyfish
• REVIEWS •
"At the heart of this collection is a writer who is genuinely interested in people: how they navigate the sad avenues of modern life, how the internet is as much a part of us as our skin, our blood." — Dillon J. Welch at American Microreviews
"Undercastle reads like a tape made to pop into the belly of a robot beast in some far dry future, in case there's someone left to hear how hard it was when things kept mattering despite concerted individual and structural efforts to make them stop." — Kate Schapira at The Rumpus
"Feliz's hagiography is written for those left behind; those who didn't get their Transcendence Robes back from the tailors in time, didn't roll the rock back soon enough. Feliz studies the new Saints of Strip Mall Heaven: the "Saint Dymphna patron saint of xanex, Saint Anthony patron saint of lost things, Saint Lucia patron saint of contact lenses." She doesn't tell us how the hands are folded in prayer or how the hem skirts the flagstones when the knee genuflects. But she does tell how the visions of John Stamos in tight jeans flutter towards her while the hymns of Teddy Ruxpin ventriloquizing MC Hammer echo in the new Cathedrals of foreclosed Blockbusters." — Divya Victor at the Poetry Foundation
"Many of the poems in Undercastle imitate the internet/TV/cell phone age, dancing from subject to subject, level of diction to level of diction ... In other words, high and low, the grandiose and the trivial, all mashed together." — Dennis James Sweeney at Entropy
"For those in search of celebrated 90s nostalgia, imitation Elvis, karaoke, and intimacy of touchscreens, Feliz Lucia Molina’s Undercastle provides a dedicated homage to the collective static of a transient life that hops from “palm tree electric/ post-heart” California to Manila of “mega mall hording leftovers from America” (redacted), accumulating these object-memories." — Muriel Leung at The Blood Jet Writing Hour
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