McNally Jackson Virtual Event
From the National Book Award-nominated, Lambda Award-winning poet: a powerful, inventive new collection that looks to the future of Puerto Rico with love, rage, beauty, and hope.
Raquel Salas Rivera’s star has risen swiftly in the poetry world, and this, his 6th book, promises to cement his status as one of the most important poets working today. In sharp, crystalline verses, written in both Spanish and English versions, antes que isla es volcán daringly imagines a decolonial Puerto Rico. Salas Rivera unfurls series after series of poems that build in intensity: one that casts Puerto Rico as the island of Caliban in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, another that imagines a multiverse of possibilities for Puerto Rico's fate, a 3rd in which the poet demands his right to a future and its immediate distribution. The verses are rigorous and sophisticated, engaging with literary and political theory, yet are also hard-hitting, charismatic, and quotable (“won’t you be sorry? / won’t you wish you had a boss? / won’t you get restless / with all that freedom?”). These poems tap unflinchingly into the explosive energy of the island, transforming it into protest, into spirit, into art.
Raquel Salas Rivera is a Puerto Rican poet, translator, and editor. His honors include being named the 2018-19 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia and receiving the New Voices Award from Puerto Rico’s Festival de la Palabra. He is the author of 5 previous full-length poetry books. His 3rd book, lo terciario/the tertiary, won the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry and was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award. His 4th book, while they sleep (under the bed is another country), was longlisted for the 2020 Pen America Open Book Award and was a finalist for CLMP’s 2020 Firecracker Award. His 5th book, x/ex/exis, won the inaugural Ambroggio Prize. He currently writes and teaches in Puerto Rico.
Urayoán Noel is the author of eight books of poetry, most recently Transversal (University of Arizona Press), which was longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award and named a Best Book of 2021 by the New York Public Library. He has also published the critical study In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam (University of Iowa Press), winner of the 2015 LASA Latino Studies Section Book Prize and an MLA Honorable Mention. As a translator of Latin American poetry, Noel has been a finalist for the National Translation Award and the Best Translated Book Award. His international performances include Poesiefestival Berlin, Barcelona Poesia, and the Toronto Biennial of Art, and his work has been exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York and the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. Originally from Río Piedras, Puerto Rico, Noel lives in the Bronx and teaches at New York University as well as at Stetson University’s MFA of the Americas.
Buy the Book:
Availability: This book is harder to get and may take several weeks if available. Please email email@example.com with questions.
Published: Beacon Press - April 5th, 2022