Trauma for Sale (2020)

Trauma for Sale is Roxana Preciado’s collection of autobiographical poetry, full-color artwork, and personal photographs. The collection reveals her ongoing struggles with mental health, past traumas, and her strength through it all. Aiding her in her revelations are her personal photographs and her artwork from childhood to now.

The collection is Preciado’s most candid and honest work to date. It brings the reader into her world and personal life by sharing the most private parts of her life. Sharing with the reader her triumphs, failures and a glance of what life is like for a once discarded youth turned success story. Never shying away from discussing taboo and controversial topics, the collection is a display of bravery and vulnerability.

Trauma For Sale by Roxana Preciado is a very intimate collection of poetry that comes with full-color artworks and personal photographs of the author. Having gone through numerous traumatic experiences in her life, she has finally conquered her demons and is making a beautiful life for herself and her life partner, and her healing continues. Sold, the first poem in this collection sets the tone of the book. Deal of the day/The special/Not special in any way/Self-destructive in every way/So anxious and afraid, it goes. The last poem, on the other hand speaks of hope, growing up through pain and suffering and thriving, ending the book on a painful but positive note.

Roxana Preciado’s Trauma For Sale, a collection of beautiful poetry written from 1998 to 2020, is both compelling and sincere and was inspired by the author’s painful life journey. The honesty in this collection of poetry is the one thing that really strikes me and it is perhaps what makes it original. The eye-catching artworks and personal photographs complement and enhance the poems, and the result is a story that unravels in similes and metaphors. Celebrating her roots in I Love Brown Babies, Preciado writes: I love their soulful brown eyes/They wear their various shades of brown, like armor/Their powerful cries fill me with pride. Trauma For Sale is actually a narration of various phases of the author’s life that she fears the most and writing them makes her a whole person, warts and all. It is highly inspiring.

Reviewed By Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers’ Favorite

Roxana Preciado is not a casual woman. Her presence alone carries the crown of a woman who has known life in ways most around her cannot imagine, so when she speaks it is with a wisdom that defies western sensibilities. This is one of the many things I love and admire about her.

We met at Cal State LA. I was a coordinator for the gender and sexuality student resource center, and she was a student holding her first book of poetry in her hands. I can’t remember how long we talked. I can say her passion made an imprint on me, and I proudly displayed her work in my offices during my time with the university, hoping students would inquire and dare to explore the pages.

Trauma For Sale , Preciado’s latest work, graphically archives the journey of the woman behind the words using mixed mediums of the writer’s visual artwork and unforgiving poetry. Page after page, Preciado is relentless in her demand that we meet her where she is, in a space of unabashed vulnerability, and during times where the only way out was through. I have found myself short of breath while reading some pieces, expanding as I inhale the vivid images, reflecting as she holds my hand through some parts of the journey, and grips my wrists during others.

Personally, I’m thrilled to take this ride with Preciado. I believe in the organic healing power of truth. I thrive in the places I am unashamed. My advice to anyone reading her work, particularly Trauma For Sale, is to approach the work as both fragile and resilient. Don’t take a single word for granted. Do what she asks of you, and trust you both have enough heart and skin to make it through the journey.

Remember to thank her when you get to page 333.

Reviewed By Thea Monyeé

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