Cuicacalli / House Of Song
Part song, part grito, part wail, part lullaby, and part hymn, Cuicacalli / House of Song is a multi-vocal exploration of time, place, and history.
Song lives within and without the poet's physical and spiritual experience of body, of desire, of art, of loss, and of grief on an individual and communal level.
Cuicacalli / House of Song sings survival, sings indigeneity, sings some part of the tattered world back together.
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These are necessary and generous poems of both/and, not either/or. They know that song needs silence as much as silence needs song. They remind us that our joys, our losses, our desires, our failings, all swim in the great complicated river of what we know and don't know. Finally, even when raging, they celebrate and carry on. ¡No se dan por vencidos! Poems we so need now. ¡Brava!
--Rosemary Catacalos, Author of Again for the First Time, 2013 Texas Poet Laureate
ire'ne lara silva's most recent collection of poems, CUICACALLI / House of Song, is pure music, and it will enter your body and open doors to your history like a lullaby with a machete. Yes, this gentle voice will scrape stones and make sparks fly, will seep into your senses and beckon like honey for your tongue to touch the blade of its making. Read it. Be bruised by its love.
--Octavio Quintanilla, author of If I Go Missing, 2018-2020 San Antonio Poet Laureate
ire'ne lara silva's "songs of sorrow" are a gifting, a blood sacrifice, a rebirthing. They are a paracolonial survivance strategy for the thousands and thousands of detribalized Indigenous people in this hemisphere when the daily necessity for persistence leaves no room for tears, neither those of mourning nor those of anger.
--Kimberly Gail Wiser, Author of Texas...to Get Horses and Back to the Blanket: Recovered Rhetorics and Literacies in American Indian Studies
ire'ne lara silva writes of songs that call us. When silva tells us, "a heart is infinite," it isn't a metaphor she gives her readers but a tenet, a suspiro, a truth about life and tierra and our sangre that must be spoken because there are those of us who carry that craving in our hair and our nails and our breath. Most days, I don't know what language my soul speaks, but reading these poems, I understand just a bit better that so many of us are always hungry, that we can eat sky, and that "the singing does not end."
--Joe Jiménez, author of Rattlesnake Allegory and The Possibilities of Mud