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THE BARE BONES OF OUR ALPHABET is a collection of poetry that reveals an all-consuming yearning: the desire to find a language that can tell the most about our existence. What the poet asks for, works obsessively to tap into, is a native tongue, a vernacular that bypasses the traps of a supposed rationality and objectivity forged in a body-politic consumed by self-interests that reduce our ontological experience. THE BARE BONES OF OUR ALPHABET calls for an activation of our primary ways of seeing that perceive spontaneously, without deliberation, which have been subdued by the material beneficiaries of our world and deemed non-intelligent. The poems invite us to re-enter our truly bare bones–our empty, sparkling space–before the codified verb, with its imposed grammar, placed us in a consented incarceration. The poet endeavours to uncover the bare alphabets we must return to–the redeeming letters–where the possibility of rebirth resides, for all and everything that has been annihilated by an unethical rhetoric, a verbosity of lies, engendered through undemocratic paradigms crafted by humans.
Irene Marques holds a PhD in Comparative Literature, a Masters in French Literature, a Masters in Comparative Literature and a Bachelor of Social Work. She is a bilingual writer (English and Portuguese) and Lecturer at Toronto Metropolitan University where she teaches literature, literary theory and creative writing. She has taught at various other universities in Toronto including University of Toronto, York University, and OCAD University. Before devoting herself entirely to academia and writing, she worked in various social services fields for over fourteen years. Her published works of fiction include Wearing Glasses of Water (poetry, 2007), Habitando na Metáfora do Tempo (short stories, 2009), The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit (poetry, 2012), The Circular Incantation (poetry, 2013), My House is a Mansion (novel, 2015), Daria (novel, 2021) and Uma Casa no Mundo (novel, 2021), which won Prémio Imprensa Nacional/Ferreira de Castro in Portugal. She has also published the academic manuscript Transnational Discourses on Class, Gender and Cultural Identity (Purdue University Press, 2011) and numerous articles in international journals or scholarly collectives.