What the Water Gave Me - V. Ruiz

  • What the Water Gave Me - V. Ruiz


What the Water Gave Me is a collection of ekphrastic poems exploring disability and the body through the art of Frida Kahlo. As the speaker moves through the journey of reconnecting to their body during the progression of their disability they navigate queerness, relationships, and grief.

"The first poem of V. Ruiz’s debut collection ends, 'Diego, I believe/ I’m in the middle of falling/ and all that awaits me is cold/ hard/ ground.' In a series of ekphrastic poems, What the Water Gave Me documents the speaker delving deeply into the fantastic mind of someone trapped inside a body. Contemplating the life, the art, and the words of Frida Kahlo, Ruiz wrestles lyrically with the limitations of the physical and celebrates the transcendent power of the imagination."

- Blas Falconer Forgive the Body this Failure

"This collection of poems by V. Ruiz is a brilliant, kinetic painting. Its colors show us recognition, acceptance, and hope. Its lines are sometimes divisions, sometimes paths. These beautifully rendered poems never observe the world or the body from only one angle. For every corner of cloudy darkness, there is the suggestion of sun. For every physical shattering there is a cohesion of spirit."

- Gustavo Hernandez Flower Grand First

"What the Water Gave Me is a masterclass in ekphrasis. Ruiz and Kahlo are connected like The Two Fridas (1939), these gorgeous poems are the artery that connects their art. Lyrical and visceral, these poems turn our attention back to what is central—the body."

- Laura Villareal Girl's Guide to Leaving

Author bio:

V. Ruiz is a Queer Xicana astrologer, artist, and writer fascinated by language and the magic it evokes. They currently live in Las Vegas. Their chapbook, What the Water Gave Me will be published in 2022 with Really Serious Lit and their first collection In Stories We Thunder will be published by Sundress Publication.