Ninety-Two Surgically Enhanced Mannequins

The ninety-two minimalist, at times surrealist and magical realist, pieces tackle the absurdity of what it means to be human and honor how moments, not plots, compose our lives. The collection is an attempt to capture these fleeting moments, while also trying to remember the intensity of the mundane and the abyss of the beautiful.

Episode 4: “Author Interview: Identity and Activism through Poetry.” Poet Angela Rideau interviews Julián on Poems From My Heart Podcast about his poetry collection, Ninety-Two Surgically Enhanced Mannequins. They discuss identity, language, heritage, lineage, and craft. Julián reads from his poetry collection, touches on the political situation of the Great Colombian Uprising of 2021, and performs a passionate spoken-word piece on his hometown of Medellín; episode published in May, 2021.

Praise for #92SEM
"Daring and risky, [the poems] challenge readers to think beyond the norms of language and cultural history, as each is broken down and reinvented. Think of Derrida working toward a written Picasso."
Carl Boon
author of PLACES & NAMES and professor of literature
"The short poems in this collection are more like aphorisms than poetry, and the work pushes the bar between a fleeting narrative to a concise generational lesson, a dance between couples, a truth-discovery, something true revealed inside glimpses of still-life."
Millicent Borges Accardi
CantoMundo Fellow & author of Only More So
"I was stunned by the infusion of history and lineage, joy and disappointment in this lyric collection. Torres López bends quotidian moments through a prism, slowing time in a way that celebrates the wonder of wakeful living."
Deborah Taffa
winner of the 2019 SFWP Literary Award for Kiva Song
"This collection is a night sky full of fireflies, flirting with a jar, but never trapped."
Ra Avis
award-winning blogger & author of Sack Nasty: Prison Poetry
"Even when these poems speak of the darkest moments of life, those moments that threaten to stop us with their misery and suffering and sorrow, the reader still feels the miracle of joy."
John Guzlowski
author of Echoes of Tattered Tongues, winner of the 2017 Ben Franklin Award for Poetry
"Reading [the poems] is like reading the writings of Russian poet and avant-gardist Daniil Kharms or one of the many heteronyms of Fernando Pessoa. But the poems' minimalism reminds one of Zen koans: absurd, irrelevant, contradictory, imaginative, fun and beautiful."
Bunkong Tuon
poet and associate professor of English at Union College
"A looking glass of humanity that rakes at your soul asking for one more tiny bite. Julián's poems flicker life into seemingly mundane events."
Krizia Isamar Bruno
author of Dominicana Americana
"A brilliant collection of vibrant flickering. [...] wonderful glimpses into a world always lilting into the surreal and the absurd. There are equal parts terror and whimsy."
Robin Gow
author of Our Lady of Perpetual Degeneracy
"Rhythmic and concise, each line is a surprise and a truth."
Anika Fajardo
author of Magical Realism for Non-Believers
"Torres López has recorded his meditations, at turns funny and thought-provoking, that lift like 'the exoskeleton of a butterfly / trying to find its way home.'"
Tucker Lieberman
author of Bad Fire
"This collection of poetry is a discovery of territories, sprawling and intimate. Underneath it all is Torres López's steady heartbeat."
Dr. Kelly A. Dorgan
writer & professor at East Tennessee State University
"To step into [these] micro poems is to step into otherworldliness itself. [...] Julián Esteban Torres López has created a world where history, erudition, and vulnerability are challenged, where colonialism, veneers, and appetites are sharply scrutinized -- and what a world it is."
Aïcha Martine Thiam
author of AT SEA