At 6pm this Friday, March 5, join FlowerSong Press in the official, online book launch for Luz at Midnight, the debut novel by San Antonio author Marisol Cortez. Luz tells a climate change story unique to South Texas—belly of the beast for boom-and-bust extraction—challenging regional histories of environmental injustice while weaving a universal story of love and longing. As arts writer Nicholas Frank writes in The San Antonio Report, Cortez’s novel has proved “eerily prescient” in its depiction of the rolling blackouts and rare earth mineral processing that have recently come to pass in South Texas.
Deeply embedded in the landscapes of South Texas, Luz at Midnight tells the story of an ill-timed love that unfolds in the time of climate change. Booksmart but naïve, Citlali Sanchez-O’Connor has just been hired to organize a San Antonio campaign against “gleaning,” a controversial new mining practice that promises a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. Soon she encounters Joel Champlain, a journalist struggling to hide his manic-depression as he uncovers the scandals that surround gleaning. During a chance trip together to Texas’ Gulf Coast, Lali is struck by a love as powerful as the electrical storm that birthed Luz, the unearthly canine trickster who has thrown them together. But Lali—married with a baby, poised to leave town for an academic job, and trained to think everything is explicable—finds she must decide what their connection means, if anything, for a path already set in motion.
A genre-hopping narrative that layers story with reporting, poetry, scholarship, and teatro, Luz ultimately questions the nature of desire and power, asking: What throws us into the path of those we love, and what pulls us apart? What agency powers the universe—and do we have any agency of our own to create a different world from the one powerful others have planned for us?
Released in December 2020, Luz represents the first foray into fiction by FlowerSong Press, a small literary press already recognized throughout the U.S. Southwest for publishing the best in borderlands poetry. In 2020, FlowerSong expanded these offerings to include children’s literature and fiction, beginning with Cortez’s Luz and Sonia Gutiérrez’s Dreaming with Mariposas.
Rooted in San Antonio, Cortez walks between artistic, activist, and academic worlds as a writer, editor, and community-based scholar. In addition to Luz at Midnight, she is the author of I Call on the Earth (Double Drop Press, 2019), a chapbook of documentary poetry, and “Making Displacement Visible: A Case Study Analysis of the Mission Trail of Tears,” which together record the forced removal of Mission Trails Mobile Home Community. Currently, she serves as co-editor of Deceleration (, an online journal of environmental justice thought and praxis. For more information on previous publications and current projects, visit
The book launch on March 5 will tell the story of Luz via selected readings by Cortez as well as conversation with and readings from three guest artists who helped bring the book into the world—Mobi Warren and Kamala Platt from the Stone in the Stream/Roca en el Rio environmental writers collective, and Davíd Zamora Casas, whose painting “Question Everything” provided the novel’s cover art. Between now and the end of the launch on March 5, those who purchase a book from FlowerSong Press ( will be entered into a raffle for several prizes, with drawings held throughout the event.
Launch will take place online via Zoom. Click here to attend.