Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser
70 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
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Release Date:15 Sep 2014
ISBN:9780874219685
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Release Date:15 Sep 2014
ISBN:9780874219524
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Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser

Utah State University Press

“When Luisa Igloria cites Epictetus—‘as soon as a thing has been seen, it is carried away, and another comes in its place’—she introduces the crowded and contradictory world her poems portray: a realm of transience, yes, where the vulnerable come to harm and everything disappears, but also a scene of tremendous, unpredictable bounty, the gloriously hued density this poet loves to detail. ‘I was raised / to believe not only the beautiful can live on / Parnassus,’ she tells us, and she makes it true, by including in the cyclonic swirl of her poems practically everything: a gorgeous, troubling over-brimming universe."
—Mark Doty, judge for the 2014 Swenson Award

The May Swenson Poetry Award, an annual competition named for May Swenson, honors her as one of America's most provocative and vital writers. During her long career, Swenson was loved and praised by writers from virtually every school of American poetry. She left a legacy of fifty years of writing when she died in 1989. She is buried in Logan, Utah, her hometown.

'However often I watch them appear in my feed reader, Luisa's poems are still an astonishment, virtuosic by-products of an intense daily (or nightly) grappling with language and memory that confounds the usual association between dailiness and ordinariness. Indeed, they are so rich, they must be savored slowly—often, I suspect, at less than half the speed at which they were originally composed. What a pleasure, then, to sit down at this feast of a collection, pulled together for our delectation by a master chef. Kain tayo!'
–Dave Bonta, editor of Via Negativa and MovingPoems.com


'Luisa A. Igloria establishes herself as a singular and revelatory voice in American poetry . . . Her engrossing poems hide, behind their gorgeous scrims, a bristling wall of spears.' 
—Sabina Murray, author of Tales of the New World; A Carnivore's Inquiry and The Caprices (winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award)


'These are poems whose gaze is as public as it is personal, and whose desire is to bring us into conversation with others by reminding us of the instances in which our language, whether fragmented or fluid, makes us part of a larger river of voices, a chorus as old as humanity itself. Through Igloria's poems we encounter the wisdom gleaned from looking backward and forward at once. Her ability to do so makes this collection, as well as her other work, an exercise in time travel well worth making.'
—Dorianne Laux, author of The Book of MenThe Book of Women, and Facts about the Moon

Luisa A. Igloria is professor of creative writing and English and director of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University. Beyond the ten books she has previously published, her work has appeared or been accepted in numerous anthologies and journals, including Poetry, Crab Orchard Review, The Missouri Review, Indiana Review, Poetry East, Umbrella, Sweet, qarrtsiluni, poemeleon, Smartish Pace, Rattle, The North American Review, Bellingham Review, Shearsman (UK), PRISM International (Canada), Poetry Salzburg Review (Austria), The Asian Pacific American Journal, and TriQuarterly. Originally from Baguio City in the Philippines, Igloria has four daughters and now makes her home in Virginia with most of her family.


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