Poetry. Women's Studies. EPIC SERIES brings together three long poems by Eléna Rivera previously published in small press limited editions. Gathered here are Wale; or The Corse, UNKNOWNE LAND and The Wait; for Homer's Penelope. These poems delve into the complexities of becoming and into what it means to be from more than one world, where place is continually shifting, where memories, languages and stories are carried and swallowed up by much larger histories—histories of conflict, translocation and injustice.
"Eléna Rivera's UNKNOWNE LAND is a brilliant, mature, deeply engaging work, whose Question is constructed through its unfolding shape—a developing exhalation of grief and wasted opportunity, both classical in its references and recasting of history quest/myth, as well as expansively modern in its resistance to these known parameters. Rivera's writing is contemplative and thickly quiet, then bell-clear with linguistically researched tones of word on word, her ear perfectly pitched...We are given a contemporary Dantesque work of unique elements held together by spiritual accident and intention—its paradox explored and revealed through the book's architectural underpinnings and entirely unexpected vision."—Kathleen Fraser
"... this is a poem of and about extremity, and it reiterates poetry's ongoing role as an extreme discourse of beginnings and apocalypses, strophes and catastrophes. Language explodes or implodes between the double pressures of tradition and innovation. The eruptions and earthquakes and tremblings in UNKNOWNE LAND are only the most literal manifestation of this tension."—Elizabeth Willis
Eléna Rivera was born in Mexico City and raised in Paris. Her most recent books are EPIC SERIES (Shearsman Books, 2020) and Scaffolding (Princeton University, 2017). Her book THE PERFORATED MAP was published by Shearsman in 2011. Poems have also appeared in The Nation, The Chicago Review, New American Writing, The New York Times, Denver Quarterly, Jacket2, Aster(ix), Aufgabe, among others. Her translation of Bernard Noël's The Rest of the Voyage (Graywolf, 2011) received the Robert Fagles Translation Prize. She also translated Noël's The Ink's Path (Cadastre8zéro, 2018) and Isabelle Garron's Body Was (forthcoming, Litmus Press). She received a National Endowment for the Arts (in translation 2010) and fellowships from Trelex Paris Poetry Residency (2019) and MacDowell (2020). Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA