by Luisa Igloria
If language is a kind of exile from the certainties professed by “the real,” then consider the poem as sleeve, as formal garment— Here, interiors can be capacious and generous as time, long as history or memory. Slipping into Luisa A. Igloria’s poems in Haori, we pierce through the armored exterior of fruit to see how scraps become rich compost for dreams. We look inside the envelope of the body, mindful of what it says and does not say. We learn to breathe in the intervals knowing that though we are unfinished, it is always now.
What others say…
"Luisa Igloria’s poems are populated by creatures both natural and mythic – from pigeon to phoenix – and sound at once timeless and contemporary. Through keen observation and surprising associations, they imbue daily life with the constant possibility that the ordinary is divine."
–Adrienne Su, author of Having None of It
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“Infused with an ethereal yet earthly lyric, Luisa A. Igloria's voice of wisdom inhabits the serenity unfurling moments graced by “the hundred thousand-thousand times wings fold.” In a holy universe where a preponderance of the small yields a prayerful awareness of eternity, the full range of human experience aspires to blossom from abject hunger to fruition and ecstasy. Harmonized with nature’s regenerative cycles, Igloria's distillations are luminous proverbs to savor one syllable at a time: “The fig and the plum burst / out of their skins because heat / has unstitched them, not / because their hearts constrict / from a sadness they cannot bear.” Ultimately, Haori is a consummate ars poetica and eloquent testament to the lasting value of poetry itself, gifting us with a corporeal yet transcendent world where "everything that grows is offering.”
from “Arguments with Destiny”
should be a kind
of prayer— Should have a heart
red-blue and heaviest at midnight,
sloping from the branch,
under which the faithful
lover waits, open-mouthed,
for a token to fall.
–Karen An-hwei Lee, author of Phyla of Joy
About the Author
Luisa A. Igloria is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world's first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (selected by Mark Doty for the 2014 May Swenson Prize, Utah State University Press), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, Montreal, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She teaches on the faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University, which she directed from 2009-2015. Find her at www.luisaigloria.com.