$25 $20 | Poetry
Limited Edition Hardcover

Lucianna Chixaro Ramos

Using bees, hives and keepers as a central conceit, this collection explores how language acts as imperfect material for building not only poems, but also laws and institutions.

November 2023 // Poetry
7″ x 9″ // Hardcover // 78pp // $25
ISBN: 978-1-941681-25-1


Though “Healing cannot be / produced by a single / member of the colony” Lucianna Chixaro Ramos’ breathtaking—breath-giving—debut collection offers an effective way forward into the kind of embodied and collective emotional intelligence that brings better health. Moving with exquisite grace and energy from micro(scope) to macro insight, letting language’s limitations as an investigative tool reveal themselves, Cells is a sure, spacious, and exciting exploration of countries, institutions, boundaries, horizons—all the social, perceptual, and physical “structures that build us [and] contain us.” I love Chixaro Ramos’ Cells for the care the author takes with frameworks (always under question), the unfailingly tender and true grasp of attention’s timing, and her approach to the philosophical, economic, and literary questions she is asking: an approach that is erudite, grounded, and aware of “a larger world.” Quietly revolutionary, nourishingly radical: “If it no longer matters to be / quiet, compliant // then”—this book is for you.
—LAURA MULLEN author of Complicated Grief

The composer John Cage was famous for saying that art should imitate nature in its manner of operation. Ramos’s Cells questions and complicates that idea, presenting the beehive as a trope for all sorts of thorny constraints and limitations—in the workplace, at national borders, within economic models, in poetic form itself. In our various cells, must we always serve a Queen? Must we forever have a Keeper? If so, how can we break free? This stunning collection urges us to imagine more nourishing forms of life.
—JENA OSMAN author of Motion Studies

What a pleasure to watch this gorgeous book build out. One tiny example: the semantic kink between sting/sing critiqued in a title (“Inequality II”). Plus the parentheses (pulled apart cell curves?) surrounding/broken by that title. Always, then, with Lucianna Chixaro Ramos’ dry, delicate reasoning. Always in lines plush with the satisfyingly rich, unregulated research of a true buzzy-brain. Plus what meticulous page making—as visual poetry cells, these black/white forms are swerves and holders, counter-page planets. What’s a book of poetry, exactly? Cells never falls into suspect “superorganism” status or becomes its own self-extraction device; rather, it expands into a half-hidden and raging thing called “queen” that’s not quite the poet. Something monstrous called “Keeper”—also not quite the poet. Each, like (text) and (image) here, “selectively permeable.” What a debut. Ouch.
—TERRI WITEK author of Something’s Missing in the Museum


Lucianna Chixaro Ramos is a Brazilian-born, Florida-raised poet and writer. She works as a marketer and is an advocate for a child’s right to safety. Lucianna is a graduate of Stetson University’s MFA of the Americas program. You can find more of her work in print and online in the journals New South, Bombay Gin, Always Crashing, and elsewhere. Cells is her first book.