Sunday, January 29, 2012

CanoMundo Poets, ire’ne lara silva and Millicent Borges Arccardi featured in Boxcar Poetry Review

ire’ne lara silva—recently profiled and interviewed for the Letras Latinas Blog—is making literary noise once again . This time ire’ne and fellow CantoMundista Millicent BorgesArccardi are featured poets in the current issue of Boxcar Poetry Review’s e-conversations, edited by Latino/a Poetry Now featured poet Eduardo C. Corral. In the e-talk both poets testify to the grief that marks their work but also to the regenerative power of writing in the face of such desolation:

“My life changed when I lost my grandmother,” writes Millicent “and then it changed again when I lost my mother. Grief cannot not affect my writing. My own work brought me comfort in grief, and it reconciled unresolved feelings while calming those times when I just wanted to pick up the phone and call my mother and was half way through dialing when I realized she was not there.”

Poetry and grief and healing but also time and playfulness: ire’ne is intrigued by Millicent’s ability to inhabit different characters and to play with time, to capture it at her will. And in the same breath Millicent notices a similar thread running through ire’ne’s work: “You do play with time,” declares Millicent, “speeding it up and slowing it down.” Bending it at her will.

Click here to read the full interview.


Taking advantage of ire’ne and Millicent’s e-talk and keeping up with the tradition of the re-posting and re-appreciation of older pieces of Latino/a literary criticism I’d like to call attention to an older e-conversation between poets Javier O. Huerta and Miguel Murphy and which was featured in issue one of Latino Poetry Review.

“Blood and Breath” is a conversation I keep returning to, sometimes for its sheer humor, sometimes for its creative tension. Miguel Murphy is quick to exploit this tension, “this makes our books in an important way related, opposed even, not as boxers in a ring, but as elements, not air and sand but, say, breath and blood, both of the body, but ruled by their different substance. “ I have heard somewhere that when a poem captures that unexpected juxtaposition of words or images, or some other element of poetics the result is a combustion of sparks and magic. It is this aesthetic tension that makes a poem soar. With that in mind this interview between the two poets begins to read more and more like a poem rather than an interview. And at the core of this conversation is the tension interwoven in language itself. Miguel Murphy describes it beautifully when he states:

“There is a kind of exile in your book, an exile of speech that results in being correctly misunderstood. For me, this misunderstanding is the magic of your poetry. I don't know that your book is interested in clarification as a choice, as in a way to say that or this is correct. Rather, it wants to clarify this state of meaning-full possibility, to say "that" or "this" correctly, to make clear all things mis-spoken, mis-heard, and embrace a surprising, even surrealistic, diversity.”

And Javier O. Huerta too is keen to find this tension in Miguel’s work: “What your [Miguel’s] book does for me that many other books, including Chicano books, including my own, fail to do is to create its own cosmology—a universal mask of teeth and flesh, of hunger and love, of empty ice trays and desire, of stars and rats. Most amazingly, you not only believe in this universe yourself but ask us to believe in it as well. And we do, offering our bare and bloody hearts.”

Click here to read the full interview.

1 comment:

Andrea (Andee) Beltran said...

Thanks for providing these interviews! All best to you this week.