Dirt and Honey

The retelling of Mexican family folktales, feminist reclamations of ancient myths, and new motherhood: Raquel Vasquez Gilliland’s debut collection, Dirt and Honey, unearths the connection of these experiences with innovative language. Gilliland writes across myth, describing a woman who grew leaves, the grandmother of God, and the story of her grandfather, who left for Texas as a refugee of the Mexican Civil War. Gilliland’s work centers readers in a place all her own—one in which ancient lineages are drawn with breast milk, seduction begins with feasts of peppers, and “fisherchildren” displaced by wars are always welcomed into new lands.

Advance Praise for Dirt and Honey
“‘In the beginning was the darkness, / and what else could it be but a womb…’ In this powerful debut collection, Raquel Gilliland gives us alternate myths and incantations, domestic hymns, images honoring women and dirt, butterflies and milk. We need them. We need a vision of creation to help push against the darkness of this current moment. Motherhood and sexual love play their part, as does Gilliland’s connection to her Mexican ancestry, but the power of the poems is their refusal of a singular story-world.” —Elizabeth Bradfield, Once Removed and Approaching Ice

About the Author

Author photo by Jordan Gilliland

Raquel Vasquez Gilliland is a Mexican-American poet and painter inspired by folklore, myth, and plants. Vasquez Gilliland’s work focuses on her Mexican-American heritage and identity, as well as preserving ancient folk tales in verse—tales that are both regional and familial. Her poems have appeared in Dark Mountain, Rattle, and Fairy Tale Review. Dirt and Honey is her debut collection and is the recipient of the Jason Wenger Award for Literary Excellence. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and son.

Visit the author’s website for events and more info.



Dirt and Honey
Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
$14.95 for print
Paperback Original | 128 pages
6 x 8
ISBN: 978-0-9994995-6-6
Pub date: April 10, 2018