- Publisher: Beacon Press (2022-04-05)
- Language: English
- Paperback: 160 pages
- ISBN-13: 9780807014578
- Item Weight: 204.12 grams
- Dimensions: 8.48 x 5.52 x 0.42 cm
Gold Medal Winner of the Juan Felipe Herrera Award for Bilingual Poetry
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.
About the Author
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.