Rendoni, Vincent Antonio: A Grito Contest in the Afterlife
Publication Date: December 2022
"I just love this voice to bits! This poet is unstoppable, adorably watchable, infectious and funny and deeply engaged with his world, and the worlds of the lives whirling around him. Distinct, singular, original voice, style, and language. A joy to read." —Dorianne Laux, finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry
"Both a welcome and welcoming debut book of poems, Vincent Rendoni’s A Grito Contest in the Afterlife is a celebration of storytelling, heritage, family, and life-affirming bravado. Aunts and uncles, parents and grandparents, all come alive in these pages, housed between wisdom and wisecrack, the fantastical and the profound. “We’re obliged to feed the heartsick,” Rendoni writes, and there is no better nourishment than these poems that understand old jokes and old wounds are kin. "Broken knows broken" the poet may write, but this lovely debut lets us know we are not alone. With a wide-open heart and earnest voice, Rendoni lets us know there is healing, wonder, and magic through it all." — Michael Schmeltzer, author of Empire of Surrender
“Vincent Rendoni’s A Grito Contest in the Afterlife is a love story when all is said and done. What’s love without shame and regret and redemption? What’s love without rage and deception and drunken declarations? It’s nothing. Vincent knows this. So, it’s all there, smashed into these poems — the complicated, complex workings of heart and family. Vincent has made this collection shimmy and shimmer with life, death, and the stories told in-between.” — Sherrie Flick, author of Thank Your Lucky Stars
In A Grito Contest in the Afterlife, Rendoni skillfully depicts his half-brown, half-white world of clashing idols: a world of Menudo, El Caminos, Street Fighter, and overbearing Abuelos. In this blunt yet charming world, as Rendoni points out, it helps if "you know how to take a punch." Overall, Rendoni’s concise yet fierce language and narrative abilities help illuminate his solidarity with his roots and working-class folks alike, even if at times it is this very loyalty which breeds tension. It is, after all, what Rendoni truly knows and holds dear, "broken knows broken." You’re not going to want to put this book down! ¡Te lo juro!
-Jose Hernandez Diaz, author of The Fire Eater and Bad Mexican, Bad American
Vincent Antonio Rendoni is a Seattle-based poet and writer. A Grito Contest in the Afterlife is his debut collection. He is a 2022 Jack Straw Poetry Fellow and the winner of Blue Earth Review’s 2021 Flash Fiction Contest. His work has previously appeared in The Sycamore Review, Vestal Review, The Texas Review, Quarterly West, Necessary Fiction, and many other venues. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. He can be found online at www.vincentrendoni.com/writer and @warshingtonian.