Navigating CHamoru Poetry: Indigeneity, Aesthetics, and Decolonization
Navigating CHamoru Poetry focuses on Indigenous CHamoru (Chamorro) poetry from the Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam). Poet and scholar Craig Santos Perez brings critical attention to a diverse and intergenerational collection of CHamoru poetry and scholarship. Throughout this book, Perez develops an Indigenous literary methodology called “wayreading” to navigate the complex relationship between CHamoru poetry, cultural identity, decolonial politics, diasporic migrations, and Native aesthetics. Perez argues that contemporary CHamoru poetry articulates new and innovative forms of indigeneity rooted in CHamoru customary arts and values, while also routed through the profound and traumatic histories of missionization, colonialism, militarism, and ecological imperialism.
This book shows that CHamoru poetry has been an inspiring and empowering act of protest, resistance, and testimony in the decolonization, demilitarization, and environmental justice movements of Guåhan. Perez roots his intersectional cultural and literary analyses within the fields of CHamoru studies, Pacific Islands studies, Native American studies, and decolonial studies, using his research to assert that new CHamoru literature has been—and continues to be—a crucial vessel for expressing the continuities and resilience of CHamoru identities. This book is a vital contribution that introduces local, national, and international readers and scholars to contemporary CHamoru poetry and poetics.