Authors Showcase: How to Undress a Cop by Sarah Cortez


The Book: How to Undress A Cop

The Author: Sarah Cortez

The Story: It’s not every book of poetry that includes an “Ode to Body Armor.” But then, it’s not every poet whose experience in academia includes a stint at the police academy.

The poems of Sarah Cortez are tough-minded, verbally supple, and often deeply erotic. And each of these fifty lyric poems displays her many facets: the street smarts of a law enforcement officer, the bilingual vocabulary of a proud Mexican American; the linguistic dexterity of an erstwhile Latin teacher; and the frank sensuality of a strong and spirited woman.

About Sarah Cortez:

Sarah Cortez
Sarah Cortez

Sarah Cortez lives, works, and polices in Houston, Texas. In 1999, she won the PEN Texas Literary Award in Poetry. Her first book of poetry was entitled How To Undress a Cop.

She has edited five volumes and been awarded the Skipping Stones Honor Award for her editing of Windows into My World: Latino Youth Write Their Lives. Her other recent edited volumes are as follows: Indian Country Noir (Akashic Books), Hit List: The Best of Latino Mystery, and You Don’t Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens.

Review by A Dead Poet:

Sarah Cortez is a poet, teacher, and cop in Houston, Texas. Her work is tough, sensual, and very sexual. Her job as a cop and her Latina heritage flavor her poems.

This is a beautiful piece of work from a poet who has a lot of potential to be great. She has the flavor of those ‘bad girl’ poets (like Kim Addonizio, Dorianne Laux, and their matriarch-Edna St. Vincent Millay).

This is a strong collection, and I recommend it wholeheartedly.

Review by Emen Giraud Kelly:

whoa…this book is soooo hot, it could scorch your fingers….not many poets can mix erotica with police work and pull it off without making it seem schlocky…in fact, i don’t think i’ve ever read a book like this…rather than cloud her poems with ambiguities, she tell you straight up about what it’s like being a cop, a woman, and a mexican american in america, sometimes, all three at the same time…she can make a poem about wearing a bulletproof vest interesting…what i love ( and i mean love ! ) about these poems,is she shows you her world without the taint of political correctness, which i think is the worst thing that has ever happened to art, because it has kept people from saying what they really mean…you see her frustrations as a cop,when she realizes she can’t win every battle; the men she works with as she tries to gain their respect…her own struggles in her personal life as she loves men of brown and white shade and possible not a man at all? after reading this book. i respect her for the job she does, and for showing her sensuality unabashed on verse…

Review by A Customer:

This work is a lifting of the curtain into the world of cops, for without officers of the law our civility in a society that teeters on the fence of good and evil would certainly deteriorate.

Poet Cortez brings the dilemmas of the police to the forefront showing poetically the stresses endured by the men and women who devote their lives for mankind. She peers deep into the psyche of cops and through her artistic genius shares their emotions with the rest of us.

As you absorb the verses look beyond the written word and feel the current of these eye-opening poems. Thank you Sarah Cortez for sharing them with us.

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