Poetry. Latinx Studies. LGBTQIA Studies. WHILE THEY SLEEP (UNDER THE BED IS ANOTHER COUNTRY) refuses to sweep up the shards of Hurricane María’s aftermath. Written in dialogic fragments and interspersed with prose poems reflecting on the lasting impact of colonial trauma, it is arranged around the two different discourses. The bed on which America sleeps, and which America has made, is built on the fear that the nations it has oppressed will rise up against it, a monstrous shadow in a child’s nightmare. Written in English, WHILE THEY SLEEP points to an imperialist American identity: the dormant body of the text. Answering in Spanish, UNDER THE BED is another country is the footnote, the monster under the bed, the colony: Puerto Rico.
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Raquel Salas Rivera is the 2018-19 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia. They are the inaugural recipient of the Ambroggio Prize and the Laureate Fellowship, both from the Academy of American Poets. They are also the author of six chapbooks and five full-length poetry books. Their fourth book, LO TERCIARIO/THE TERTIARY, was on the 2018 National Book Award Longlist and won the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry. Their fifth book, WHILE THEY SLEEP (UNDER THE BED IS ANOTHER COUNTRY), was published by Birds, LLC in 2019. They received their PhD in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania. Raquel loves and lives for Puerto Rico, Philadelphia, and a world free of white supremacy.Author City: PHILADELPHIA, PA USA