Praise for FUEGO
"Leslie Contreras Schwartz doesn't use words to smooth over life's edges.Instead, she writes about the jagged parts directly: the struggle ofdifficult pregnancies, the trials and joys of motherhood, the horrors she saw in her students' lives when she briefly taught fourth grade.(This is) a collection of clear, crisp poems that tangle directly with the stuff of life."
Fuego is full of fire, of the passionate intensity of creation in the face of great odds - the intensity of difficult pregnancies and childbirth and all-consuming motherhood, of the immigrant student who struggles to write his first sentences in English, the child who falls from her bike and gets up again and again, the long- distance swimmer trying to swim to Antarctica, all of them stand-ins, I think, for the artist who struggles to make something meaningful from language in the midst of life, which is to say in the midst of death. This Leslie Contreras Schwartz has done in her debut collection, and hers is a distinctive and welcome new voice in American poetry.
~ Susan Wood, Gladys Louise Fox Professor Emerita of English at Rice University, author of Asunder, National Poetry Series selection 2001
Nightbloom & Cenote (St. Julian Press, forthcoming 2018)