Words or Water
Publisher: Finishing Line Press
Published Date: August 26, 2016
Dimensions: 5.5 X 0.09 X 8.5 inches | 0.13 pounds
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About the AuthorLi Yun Alvarado is a Nuyorican poet, writer, scholar and educator. Her work has appeared in several journals and anthologies including: Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education; The Acentos Review; CURA: A Literary Magazine of Art and Action; Dismantle: An Anthology of Writing from the VONA/Voices Writing Workshop; PALABRA, A Magazine of Chicano and Latino Literary Art; Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts in Los Angeles; and Modern Haiku. Her work received an honorable mention for The Andres Montoya Poetry Prize in 2012, and it was selected as a finalist for the same prize in 2009. She is currently the Senior Poetry Editor for Kweli Journal and is an alumna of VONA/Voices Writing Workshop, AROHO, the Acentos Fellowship, and Astra Writing in Greece. She holds a BA in Spanish and sociology from Yale University and an MA and PhD in English from Fordham University. She teaches English at Long Beach City College and has had the pleasure of teaching literature, composition, and creative writing-in English and in Spanish-to middle school, high school, and college students in New Haven, Boston, New York City, Long Beach, and the Dominican Republic. Li Yun is a native New Yorker living with her husband in Long Beach, California who takes frequent trips to Salinas, Puerto Rico to visit la familia.
Li Yun Alvarado's poems carve a double-tongued space of longing and resistance, where we can pause to breathe. Read release and renewal in the soft, clear light of her words. Evie Shockley, author of a half-red sea and the new black In Words or Water, Li Yun Alvarado chooses both. This book is simultaneously a meditation and a riptide. External violences from bullets to cancer disrupt our inner worlds. Unconditional love brings us back to center where life regenerates into its full prowess in the nuances of a first and final breath. We are reminded that life is good even when it isn't. Magdalena Gomez, poet, playwright, educator; author of Shameless Woman Li Yun Alvarado's Words or Water is an affective map of the Nuyorican archipelago, as oceanic as it is embodied. In vivid and uncompromising poems-about love and family, about the politics of tweezing and the intricacies of Puerto Rican rum, about the artist Keith Haring's lover Juanito Xtravaganza and the imperialism of Old Navy t-shirts-Alvarado traces the "Atlantic currents" of diaspora while honoring quotidian practices of survival and struggle: "my parents government-cheesed / our lives into normalcy." Women emerge here as counter-genealogical figures (Don Quijote's Dulcinea, the poet Julia de Burgos, who provides an epigraph, mothers and sisters, biological and otherwise) and as guides to a revolutionary knowledge, an affirmation of our bodies even as they are policed and colonized. Urayoan Noel, author of Buzzing Hemisphere/Rumor Hemisferico and In Visible Movement: Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam"