The Cuban-born author—who spends her time crafting within these city limits—has two novels under her belt, “Days of Awe” and “Memory Mambo, ” a short-story collection sweetly titled “We Came All the Way From Cuba So You Could Dress Like This?” and she was the editor of “Havana Noir,” an addition to Akashic’s series of love letters to shadows, smoke and dimly lit alleyways (oh, she’s also an accomplished journalist). Her first book of poetry, called “This Is What Happened in Our Other Life,” is predictably lovely, if far too brief. From “Sleeping Apart”: “The nightmare itself/the somnambulist, time-zone/zombie unaware/bumping the furniture, telephone/eating its own tail.” From “Sunday”: “It was love that gave them careers/new wares, made them/dark-haired girls sifting rice/checking magazines for quick tests titled:/“Do you know your lover?”/“Is your marriage happy?”/ Everyday the air of nitrous oxide.” That’s just a sample of the simple, serene sensibility Obejas can surface. (Tom Lynch)
Achy Obejas reads her work January 9 at Women and Children First Bookstore, 5233 North Clark, (773)769-9299, at 7pm. Free.