Rosa's Einstein
96 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:19 Feb 2019

Rosa's Einstein


The University of Arizona Press
Rosa’s Einstein is a Latinx retelling of the Brothers Grimm’s Snow-White and Rose-Red, reevaluating border, identity, and immigration narratives through the unlikely amalgamation of physics and fairy tale.

In this full-length poetry collection, the girls of Rosa’s Einstein embark on a quest to discover what is real and what is possible in the realms of imagination, spurred on by scientific curiosity and emotional resilience. Following a structural narrative arc inspired by the archetypal hero’s journey, sisters Rosa and Nieve descend into the desert borderlands of New Mexico to find resolution and healing through a bold and fearless examination of the past, meeting ghostly helpers and hinderers along the way. These metaphorical spirits take the shape of circus performers, scientists, and Lieserl, the lost daughter Albert Einstein gave away.

Poet Jennifer Givhan reimagines the life of Lieserl, weaving her search for her scientist father with Rosa and Nieve’s own search for theirs. Using details both from Einstein’s known life and from quantum physics, Givhan imagines Lieserl in a circus-like landscape of childhood trauma and survival, guided by Rosa and Nieve.
Givhan’s collection is so much about having hope for another and about envisioning another world in which someone is brave and bright and has not been abandoned. And in this hope, they are wanted and remembered.’—American Microreviews & Interviews

‘‘Raise a glass, sit in Alice’s just-vacated seat, and sip Givhan’s heady home brew, slipping yourself through yourself to sift through her poems’ generous gifts of light. In our only and ever more burdened earth, this book is a welcome and welcoming cry in the night, calling all time bandits: We live in a universe still expanding! Come in. Welcome home.’—Julie Sophia Paegle, author of Twelve Clocks
Rosa’s Einstein is lush, lurid with color, ‘flowerfisted,’ feminist, and bomb-blast bright. ‘[B]raiding history with myth / like ribbons through plaits,’ Jennifer Givhan turns her keen eyes to time—the science and magic of it—and invents something wholly (and holy) original. This book is seared into my brain.’—Maggie Smith, author of Good Bones
‘Jennifer Givhan’s voice is desperately needed, at this moment more than ever, and in Rosa’s Einstein she ambitiously tackles physics, fairy tales, immigration, nuclear bombs, and time travel in one vivid and marvelous collection.’—Jeannine Hall Gailey, author of Field Guide to the End of the World
‘Highly inventive, super obsessive, and beautifully written, this book of poems is a sleek animal you will find yourself panting behind, chasing Jennifer Givhan as she reclaims history, teaches Albert Einstein to dance cumbia, and makes a ghost sister, Nieve, from the fallout of the Trinity explosion.’—Carrie Fountain, author of Burn Lake
Jennifer Givhan is an NEA Fellowship recipient and author of three previous collections of poetry, including Girl with Death Mask. She teaches English at Western New Mexico University.
Rosa Roja
Lieserl Travels Back to the River, Becomes Her Mama
The Bomb
Field Trip: Lieserl Blanketed in Fallout, or Nieve
Un Niño, Falling
In the Desert Multiverse: Einstein’s Single Mama

When the Jornada del Muerto Had a Windpipe
Rosa Follows Nieve into the Desert Circus
Lunatic Mama: The Last Hunger Artist
Lieserl Runs Away
Lieserl Reads Goodnight Moon
Lieserl Writes Her Father
Nieve, the Brave Sister
Rosa/Nieve’s Sideshow Performance
Lieserl’s Yellow
Lieserl Creates Light
Rosa & the Date Palm
After the Circus

Rosa Meets Princess Alice
Why Believe? or, Rosa Questions the Scientist About the Princess
After Meeting Princess Alice
Rosa Follows Lieserl into Night
Princess Alice Responds
Lieserl Contemplates Resurrection
The Dead Don’t Crick. The Dead Believe

Rosa’s Time Capsule (or, Father Is a Hole & Home, a Spinning Top)
Risen Again
Accelerating Elevator
How to Build a Time Machine
Case Study: The Mexicali Border as Time Machine
Reinas de STEM
Nieve Explora
Rosa Dreams of Nothing
Ghost You Don’t Believe In
Nieve After the Circus, Parallel
Rosa & Nieve Say Good-bye to the Desert Circus

From the Bottom of the World Comes a Cry
Rosa & Nieve Grow Up
The World Ended. I Woke in Heaven
River Pitch; or, Nieve Reminds Me How to Swim
Night After Night: Jupiter
Body Image; or, Nieve Reminds Me Who I Am
Why Are You in This World?
My God, Nieve
Rosa & Nieve in the Beginning

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