Poetry. Who guides us through the unknown? Who offers the keys? In THE PERFORATED MAP, Eléna Rivera's guide is language as she attempts to navigate the distances, the disturbances, the suggestions, the mistakes, the perforations. In these poems, language is the map, the matter that fills/affects the body, the organizing principle between the self and the world, and the forms that it gives rise to. The sentence is filled with holes. What is graspable between self and other? Is not all language in transit, moving in gradations of light, between knowing and the fuzzy conveyance shaped by words whose meaning is a matter of further adumbrations? How are we able to communicate our experience? How will understanding be sparked? What message is there for the poet/the reader? That is what is at stake in these poems, finding the word, the specific word, to illuminate the way, the experience of life, this moment, this time, this period of history.
Eléna Rivera was born in Mexico City and spent her childhood in Paris. She is the author of THE PERFORATED MAP (Shearsman Books, 2011), Mistakes, Accidents and the Want of Liberty (Barque Press, 2006), Suggestions at Every Turn (Seeing Eye Books, 2005), UNKNOWNE LAND (Kelsey St. Press, 2000), WALE; OR, THE CORSE (Leave Books, 1995), and a recent pamphlet entitled Disturbances in the Ocean of Air (Phylum Press, 2005). She received a MacDowell Residency fellowship March-April 2005, won first prize in the 1998 Stand Magazine International Poetry Competition, and was recently awarded the 2007 Witter Bynner Poetry Translator Residency at the Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico. Rivera was recently awarded the 2010 Robert Fagles prize in translation from the National Poetry Series for her project The Rest of the Voyage, a translation of the French poet Bernard Noël, to be published by Greywolf Press late in 2011. Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA