Raquel Salas Rivera with Farid Matuk - antes que isla es volcán / before island is volcano

Monday, April 18, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Rectangular image with a headshot of poet Raquel Salas Rivera on the left, a cover image of the book "antesqueisla es volcán" on the top right, and a headshot of poet Farid Matuk on the bottom right.Left Bank Books welcomes award winning Puerto Rican poet, translator, and editor
Raquel Salas Rivera,
who will discuss his new book
Antes Que Isla Es Volcán / Before Island Is Volcano,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on April 18th.
Salas Rivera will be in conversation with poet
Farid Matuk.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
About our Speakers
Raquel Salas Rivera is a Puerto Rican poet, translator, and editor. His honors include being named the 2018-19 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia and receiving the New Voices Award from Puerto Rico's Festival de la Palabra. He is the author of 5 previous full-length poetry books. His 3rd book, lo terciario/the tertiary, won the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry and was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award. His 4th book, while they sleep (under the bed is another country), was longlisted for the 2020 Pen America Open Book Award and was a finalist for CLMP's 2020 Firecracker Award. His 5th book, x/ex/exis, won the inaugural Ambroggio Prize. He currently writes and teaches in Puerto Rico.
A queer writer of mixed Syrian and Peruvian heritage, Farid Matuk has lived in the U.S. since the age of six as an undocumented person, a “legal” resident, and a naturalized citizen. He is the author of the poetry collections This Isa Nice Neighborhood (Letter Machine) and The Real Horse (University of Arizona Press), and of several chapbooks including My Daughter La Chola (Ahsahta). His work has been anthologized in The Best American Experimental Poetry and in Angels of the Americlypse: An Anthology of New Latin@ Writing, among others. Matuk serves as poetry editor at FENCE and on the editorial board for the book series Research in Creative Writing at Bloomsbury. His work has been supported, most recently, by residencies and grants from The Headlands Center for the Arts and The Lannan Foundation and a Visiting Holloway Professorship in Poetry & Poetics at UC Berkeley. Matuk's book arts project, Redolent, made in collaboration with visual artist Nancy Friedemann-Sánchez, is forthcoming from Singing Saw Press.
About Antes Que Isla Es Volcán / Before Island Is Volcano
From the National Book Award-nominated, Lambda Award-winning poet: a powerful, inventive new collection that looks to the future of Puerto Rico with love, rage, beauty, and hope.

Raquel Salas Rivera's star has risen swiftly in the poetry world, and this, his 6th book, promises to cement his status as one of the most important poets working today. In sharp, crystalline verses, written in both Spanish and English versions, antes que isla es volcán daringly imagines a decolonial Puerto Rico.

Salas Rivera unfurls series after series of poems that build in intensity: one that casts Puerto Rico as the island of Caliban in Shakespeare's The Tempest, another that imagines a multiverse of possibilities for Puerto Rico's fate, a 3rd in which the poet demands his right to a future and its immediate distribution. The verses are rigorous and sophisticated, engaging with literary and political theory, yet are also hard-hitting, charismatic, and quotable ("won't you be sorry? / won't you wish you had a boss? / won't you get restless / with all that freedom?").

These poems tap unflinchingly into the explosive energy of the island, transforming it into protest, into spirit, into art.

"To dream other worlds in the face of colonial apocalypse . . . This imagining is what the poems--the poem--that are before island is volcano generously and powerfully offer us. Since the tertiary, one of the most important books of our time, Raquel Salas Rivera has been documenting--with acuity, and clarity, and beauty--the colonial hole, creating life-giving books, in multiple languages, and channeling multiple universes, to gift us the words we need as we ward off the nations they send to kill us." --Daniel Borzutzky, National Book Award-winning author of The Performance of Becoming Human

"Raquel Salas Rivera proposes that 'going back' is a political and poetic act, a trip back to magma, to memory and to the words that attest to our struggle against the colonial yokes that keep trying to ensnare us. For this reason, antes que isla es volcán/before island is volcano looks beyond each verse and beyond the pages of this book. It invites us to look to our own poetics and convictions as a jumping-off point for redefining the geopolitics of possibility." --Mayra Santos-Febres, author of La amante de Gardel


You can watch live on Left Bank's YouTube channel. To participate on Facebook, log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You can watch on either location without logging in, but in order to comment or interact with the program, you must be logged in.


Virtual Event
antes que isla es volcán / before island is volcano (Raised Voices) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807014578
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Beacon Press - April 5th, 2022

Lo Terciario / The Tertiary (2nd Edition) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781934819821
Availability: Backordered
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Noemi Press - August 1st, 2019

x/ex/exis: poemas para la nación (Ambroggio Prize) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780816544073
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: University of Arizona Press - August 17th, 2021

Puerto Rico En Mi Corazón Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939781390
Availability: Backordered
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Anomalous Press - August 1st, 2019

The Real Horse: Poems (Camino del Sol ) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780816537341
Availability: Special Order
Published: University of Arizona Press - February 27th, 2018