Poetry. Women's Studies. AMERICA THAT ISLAND OFF THE COAST OF FRANCE speaks to the impossibility of emigration, of ever being the citizen of only one country. Born in France, raised in Florida, Kercheval now divides her time between the U.S. and Uruguay. The poems hurtle across literary and linguistic borders toward a lyricism that slows down experience to create a new form of elegiac memoir. Against the backdrops of Paris, Montevideo, and Florida, the poems explore citizenship and homelessness, motherhood and self, family and freedom, turning over and over again the very meaning of the word home, as the poems, like the poet, make the fraught journey back and forth between America and France. As Kercheval wonders in her poem "The Red Balloon," "is leaving / ever painless? Is returning?"
Jesse Lee Kercheval is a poet, fiction writer, memoirist, and translator, specializing in the poetry of Uruguay. Her most recent book of poetry is AMERICA THAT ISLAND OFF THE COAST OF FRANCE (Tupelo Press, 2019). Her previous translations include REBORN IN INK by Laura Cesarco Eglin (The Word Works, 2019) and FABLE OF AN INCONSOLABLE MAN by Javier Etchevarren (Action Books, 2017). She is the author of the fiction book BRAZIL (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2010) and co- editor of TRUSTING ON THE WIDE AIR: POEMS OF URUGUAY (Dialogos / Lavender Ink, 2019) and EARTH, WATER AND SKY: A BILINGUAL ANTHOLOGY OF ENVIRONMENTAL POETRY (Dialogos / Lavender Ink, 2016). Her additional works include the bilingual Spanish/ English poetry collection Extranjera / Stranger, the poetry collection Cinema Muto, winner of a Crab Orchard Open Selection Award, The Alice Stories, winner of the Prairie Schooner Fiction Book Prize, Dog Angel, Space, winner of the Alex Award from the American Library Association, and the short story collection The Dogeater, winner of the Associated Writing Programs Award for Short Fiction. She is currently Zona Gale Professor of English and Director of the Program in Creative Writing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.Author City: MADISON, WI USA