CHILDREN’S LITERATURE SIN FRONTERAS: MESTICISMO AND ECOPOETICS IN FRANCISCO X. ALARCÓN’S ANIMAL POEMS OF THE IGUAZÚ
Francisco X. Alarcón’s Animal Poems of the Iguazú / Animalario del Iguazú (2013) successfully represents a milestone in its author’s career, as it brings together stylistic choices and philosophical concepts that he had developed in earlier works for adult and children readers. In particular, and working from an animal-rights, posthumanist context, Alarcón fleshes out the notions of ecopoetics and mesticismo, a neologism he coined to blend mysticism with mestizaje. Through those concepts, the author invites his readers to imagine a borderless continent, thus challenging hierarchical divisions and dominant discourses in children’s entertainment. In their stead, Alarcón advocates for a reclamation of Mesoamerican thought and practices as a pathway to developing positive images of linguistic and cultural diversity, ecological awareness, and new ways of reading and living.