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     The Tongue Has Its Secrets
     by Donna Snyder

Donna Snyder’s work as an activist lawyer advocating on behalf of indigenous people, immigrant workers, and people with disabilities has garnered multiple prizes and recognitions. In 1995 she founded the grassroots, not-for-profit Tumblewords Project in the West Texas/Southern New Mexico/Northern Chihuahua region.  She continues to coordinate its free weekly workshops, occasional publications, and performance events in the El Paso area.

The Tongue Has Its Secrets
by Donna Snyder

"Snyder is a poet who tongues the language of birds, delves into the minds of sybils, explores connections with animals. She tests the boundaries of nothingness and somethingness. Donna Snyder’s poems are like Nüshu: secrets cast skywards like a cipher for those who know, to read."

Susan Hawthorne
, poet and author of Lupa and Lamb

ISBN 978-0-9903565-5-4
84 pages
5.5"x8.5" perfect bound, paper

To purchase this book click HERE.


Rainbow girl

brown bugs crawl across Rainbow Girl's face
she holds the sacred plant and faces east
leads the people on the rainbow way
thank you
it is good

time is that way
leaves you behind in a velvet blouse
looking at silver hairs in the mirror
the young ones call you shimasani
ancient one
one who talks for all
the powerful one
mother of the world

Coyote grins
he knows moonlight will come again
spread its milky fingers over rock and mesa
Rainbow Girl bows into the wind
earrings dangle turquoise teardrops for her people

the future is a blue glass bottle
break it if you will
or use it to catch tears to drink
when rain forget it loves sky
and brown bugs no longer crawl
across paintings in the sand


"Powerful images, passion between lines, revisiting female mythological figures, and questioning violence against women are crucial in these poems.  Snyder reinvents herself through these stanzas, and raises her voice in each of the polychromatic verses full of Latino as well as north European myths, full of words as vaporous signs." 

Xánath Caraza
, recipient of the 2015 International Book Award for Poetry  

"The Tongue Has Its Secrets
celebrates the feminine principle in all manifestations -- from its dark root in the earth, the blood & sacrifice & song of mother & daughter, up to the chariot moon ridden by the fertile goddess through skies resplendent with her constellations."

Amalio Madueño
, poet