Information on my new book



NeoPoiesis Press link to various distributors in the world


 Barnes and Noble

 Abe Books

or for an autographed copy, buy it directly from the author














Video recording of me reading “I Am the Sound of the Sea”

Mark Walsh recorded me in his studio in downtown Los Angeles, California on November 23, 2014. I am reading from Poemas ante el Catafalco:  Grief and Renewal (Chimbarazu Press).

Photo by Victor Hernández taken at the Black Orchid Lounge in El Paso,  Texas September 22, 2014.

Photo by Victor Hernández taken at the Black Orchid Lounge in El Paso, Texas September 22, 2014.

Interview by Daniel Chacón on Words on a Wire

Daniel Chacón, the prize-winning author with international renown, interviewed me on Words on a Wire, a weekly literary program on KTEP, the National Public Radio affiliate in El Paso, Texas.  I also read a poem from Poemas ante el Catafalco:  Grief and Renewal.  In the weekly “Poetic License” segment of the show, Azu Domínguez read a story and sang a song by Pedro Infante.


Review by Constance Stadler

Review by Connie Stadler (unpublished)

In “Poemas Ante El Catafalco: Grief and Renewal” Donna Snyder takes us on a journey of profound interior discovery reminiscent of Baudelaire’s “Fleur du Mal.”  Each poem is a study of the infinity in emotional nuance that shades and inhabits the most profound of human loss and the depths to which the soul must travel to begin to find new groundings—the ineffable rationale for continuance.  While the impact of death is an arena that attracts many writers, few have explored its intimacies with such fierce courage and such exceptional artistry.

A quintessential poem in this collection is “To Titian’s Ariadne”, repeated here in its entirety.

My body twists and turns in naked sorrow,

my love gone on his strange and lonesome journey,

without me.

I am left exposed, undraped,

grasping scarves around my fleshiness,

silken shields red and blue.

Vulnerable to passion and dissolution.

Exposed alike to beasts and the naked sky.

My red hair is a noose about my neck.

I am eager for the grave.

The senses compel me

to lose my abandoned flesh to pleasure.

Oblivion lurks on cat feet in the wild dark.

From the very first line we are garroted by the confronting image, as we move through a composition with all the simple elegance of a Neruda ode, we enter a maelstrom of color, texture, frenzy and a desperation that will not be soothed.  Snyder’s cat carries the potency of Eliot’s scavenging marauder. It is there, an image as incontrovertible as the newly inhabited grave of the loved.

But what of the return? After immersion in the cadences to the very gods who have stolen beloved friends and a lifelong companion, we reach the final pages wondering – how will she bring us back?  Is there a way back? What is the path to the “riot of rebirth”?

As we go slowly through each work, we learn there are many tributaries; feasts of intellect; renewal accomplished cell by singularly stirred cell.  It is borne out of the deepest recesses of conscience and by every tremor that speaks to need and the slowly returning recognition that there is — whether we want it or not – a division between darkness and light.  The incandescence of passion takes us out of the beloved’s coffin with a screaming rage— demanding air, brutal light, all, all will not be stilled.

In one of her final poems of the collection, Snyder – known by many in art circles as “La Maestra” – opens a window into the soul of the survivor.

“I am a piece of tissue-people will use me until I disintegrate into nothingness. I am dirty dishes—I always need attention. I am un veterano—disordered by my post-traumatic sensibilities. I am Job—punished and tested beyond comprehension. I am King David because I am blessed by God. 

I am a poem because I incite with words and create images in your mind. I am a grocery list—nothing more than a collection of needs. I am like trouble—I never seem to disappear for good. I am like the internet—connected to sentient beings across the world. I am like my clients—I need peace with dignity and grace.”

In the wake of this shared time we are all veteranos; all embracing the search of needs; all seeking a scintilla of dignity and grace, and coming away with a renewed and beautifully hued appreciation for the path we each must travel.

connie stadler

Constance Stadler

Constance Stadler is a political anthropologist who has written and co-written six compilations of poetry. She has been recognized  as a two time finalist for the Pushcart Prize and has also been recognized as a finalist for the international Erbacce prize.  She has served as editor of a number of journals including Calliope Nerve and Eviscerator Heaven and teaches writing workshops across the country.

Allen Parmenter’s review of Poemas ante el Catafalco: Grief and Renewal in Red Fez

Allen Parmenter’s review of Poemas ante el Catafalco:  Grief and Renewal in Red Fez

“One reads of dyings and deaths, and feels all the world’s spoken, sung, and written speech has streamed into Spanglish, in time for Donna Snyder to respond to it all.”

Jillian Parker’s review of Poemas ante el Catafalco: Grief and Renewal in Spectral Lyre

illustration used in Spectral Lyre review

Self Portrait on the Borderline between Mexico and the United States by Frida Kahlo

Fronteriza (a review of Donna Snyder’s upcoming book)

Speak to me in Spanish. I’ll hear all vowels and no consonants. I’ll understand all nouns and no verbs, miss the plot but grasp the emotion.

To read a poem by Donna Snyder is to be transported to a variegated and vivid neighborhood of ideas.

This is a place which could not strictly be located within a geography text, because it has emerged within a community of languages, cultures, flavors, textures and creative expressions that exists along the border-lands between the United States and Mexico, and from the Celtic consciousness of a fiery red-head.

I first became acquainted with the work of Donna Snyder when she was known in online writing circles as “Fronteriza,” which seems a fitting way to describe a poet, advocate, and activist who has extended herself as a bridge between languages, cultures, and genders for many years. Her writing is populated by visionary imagery and thoughts that are bi-cultural at the very least.

Here is Donna in her own voice, in an excerpt from her latest book, Poemas ante el Catafalco: Grief and Renewal:

My two Diegos

There on the shelf beneath the blue glass bottles,
an altar to Santa Frida la dolorisima,
one of my special saints. She has left her mark on me,
imbued me with a certain mexicanidad.
She was rebel and rabble rouser, contraventional,
the surrealist in my woodshed.
Her blood runs in my veins,
her corazón visible and pierced
como San Sebastian, un venado espinado.
Her spirit is in me.

Having had the honor of a familiarity with Donna’s writing for a number of years, I can affirm that this is so. The spirit of Frida Kahlo lives on in the words of a woman who may very well be a living Sybil, while she is also a resident of El Paso, Texas.

In her latest collection, Donna brings us the fruits of a season of great sadness in her own life: she lost her husband, the painter Mario Colin, in 2013.

Hovering over my copy of Poemas ante el Catalfalco, I found myself deeply immersed in her emotional journey, and was struck by the potency of the words with which she mourns her losses, and yet embraces what may come. I provide some quotes below:

To Titian’s Ariadne

My body twists and turns in naked sorrow,
my love gone on his strange and lonesome journey,
without me.


Without purposeful intention

Now memory of red grows like weeds
between every thought. I learn to breathe,
and breathing learns my life.
It’s a vertical exposure
between here and the void.

According to Night Wing Publications,Donna Snyder publishes work in literary journals and anthologies throughout the United States and on-line, and has presented readings in Sitka, Alaska, Boston, New York City, Denver, and throughout New Mexico and Texas. In 2015, NeoPoiesis Press will publish her book, Three Sides of the Same Moon. She is currently working on a poetry collection for Slough Press. VirgoGray Press published her chapbook, I Am South, in 2010, due to be reissued in the coming year. Snyder is co-editor for poetry for Return to Mago, an international webzine. For Unlikely Books, she served as fiction editor of an anthology of international underground literature, Unlikely Stories of the Third Kind and edited I Can Sing Fire, a poetry chapbook by Anne Lombardo Ardolino. Snyder’s work as an activist lawyer advocating on behalf of indigenous people, immigrant workers, and people with disabilities has garnered widespread recognition.

Poemas ante el Catafalco: Grief and Renewal is scheduled to be released on September 18, 2014 by Chimbarazu Press.

Posted by Jillian Parker