Originally released as a bilingual collection in 1989 by Stephen Kessler’s Alcatraz Editions, Juan Felipe Herrera wrote the poems of AKRÍLICA starting in 1977, occasioned by the energy and dialogue that he encountered upon meeting writer and co-conspirator Francisco X. Alarcón (1954-2016). Through a new interview included here and through his own Visual Introduction, archival photographs from his travels across the Americas, and new art created in conversation with the collection, Herrera offers a rich set of references, inspirations, and influences that shaped AKRÍLICA while sharing his take on this singular book’s place in his development as a poet and multimedia artist. This new edition and new translation of AKRÍLICA arrives now to expand the political and artistic possibilities that form our current horizon. This project is not one of inclusion or recovery. This is a project of retrieval. We steal AKRÍLICA away from literary institutions, away from the discipline of literature as such, and away from traditions of experimental poetics that should hope to claim it. Oriented toward the liveliness of the imagination, committed to fundamentally changing itself in order to meet the moment, AKRÍLICA belongs somewhere else; it belongs in the hands of those finding one another in a gathering that has yet to take place.
Edited by Anthony Cody, Carmen Giménez, & Farid Matuk
Poetry. Latinx Studies.
The son of migrant farm workers, Herrera was educated at UCLA and Stanford University, and he earned his MFA from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. His numerous poetry collections include 187 REASONS MEXICANOS CAN'T CROSS THE BORDER: UNDOCUMENTS 1971-2007, Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems (2008), and Border- Crosser with a Lamborghini Dream (1999). In addition to publishing more than a dozen collections of poetry, Herrera has written short stories, young adult novels, and children's literature. His most recent works for young people include Imagine (2018) and Jabberwalking (2018). In 2015 he was named U.S. poet laureate.