MAPS FOR MIGRANTS AND GHOSTS BY LUISA A. IGLORIA
Luisa brings her signature sharp, shrewd, exquisite language about her personal and family histories and marks how immigration leads to world-wide revolution.
It has been a long time since I have read a book as unforgettable as Maps for Migrants and Ghosts of Luisa A. Igloria. Luisa brings her signature sharp, shrewd, exquisite language about her personal and family histories and marks how immigration leads to world-wide revolution. Moreover, notable mention of different weathers in poems creates a realistic aspect and looks quite magnificent.
Drastic changes in climate and timings witnessed throughout the world are the wondrous virtue of “Song of Meridians.” The newspaper seems to contain different pictures stating diversity in stories but “a difference of one letter between one state of being and another.”
It’s spring, but in other places it’s not-
yet-spring. It’s dry, or wet with
monsoon, or it is why-is-there-still-snow-
Sentimental, frenzy, and exultation are the very words to elucidate “The Heart’s Every Heave.” For a while, it puts upfront the questions about the future and the present.
...holds its breath, lurches from platform
to crowded lobby. Say elegy, insistence,
not blank stare. Say danger and defiance.
Not shoulder shrug, not fold over.
In “Portraits,” at the start, nostalgia evolves out of every word therein. The first look of the poem seems quite evocative. The poet ‘thinking back’ mentions a green old bungalow which was the president’s summer house then. The wonderful moments of her life she has added make the poem more entrancing, “I tried to capture their likenesses on canvas, /working from a photograph—my smiling mother/on the left, wearing coral lipstick”.
How naturally the poet describes the brief existence of cabbages rimmed with the crust of ice! A cold weather condition in “North” supported by vivid effects such as “the frozen pellets dropped by goats” and “How wine made from fermented rice” soothes the reader’s mind and forces to imagine a scene of such exquisiteness.
Most of the poems in this poetic collection contain accompanying sweetness, an arch sentimentality. The art of lucidity that Luisa has shown in this book is flawless. She is adept with poetic economy and finding perfect endings to her poetry. I wish for this book that it may exhilarate every reader. All the best!
---- Rochak Agarwal
Originally from Baguio City in the Philippines, Luisa A. Igloria is the author of 14 books of poetry and 4 chapbooks. She has four daughters and now makes her home in Virginia with most of her family. She is a Professor of Creative Writing and English, and from 2009-2015 was Director of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University. In the Spring Term 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Visiting Writer in Residence at Washington & Lee University.
Her work has appeared or been accepted in numerous anthologies and journals including New England Review, The Common, 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.
Various national and international literary awards include the 2019 Crab Orchard Open Competition Award for Poetry; the 2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize selected by former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey; the 2018 Bridport Poetry Prize/UK (second prize); the 2015 (inaugural) Resurgence Poetry Prize (the world’s first major ecopoetry award), the 2014 May Swenson Poetry Prize selected by Mark Doty for Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014); the 2009 Ernest Sandeen Poetry Prize for Juan Luna's Revolver (University of Notre Dame Press); the 2007 49th Parallel Poetry Prize selected by Carolyne Wright for the Bellingham Review; the 2007 James Hearst Poetry Prize selected by former US Poet Laureate Ted Kooser for the North American Review; Honorable Mention in the 2010 Potomac Review Poetry Contest; Finalist in the first Narrative Poetry Contest (2009); Finalist, the 2007 Indiana Review Poetry Prize; the 2006 National Writers Union Poetry Prize selected by Adrienne Rich; the 2006 Richard Peterson Poetry Prize (Crab Orchard Review); the 2006 Stephen Dunn Award for Poetry; Finalist, the 2005 George Bogin Memorial Award for Poetry (Poetry Society of America); the 2004 Fugue Poetry Prize selected by Ellen Bryant Voigt; Finalist, the 2003 Larry Levis Editors Prize for Poetry from The Missouri Review; Finalist, the 2003 Dorset Prize (Tupelo Press); the first Sylvia Clare Brown Fellowship, Ragdale Foundation (2007); a 2003 partial fellowship to the Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg; three Pushcart Prize nominations; a 1998 Fellowship at the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers in Lasswade, the Midlothians, Scotland; and the 1998 George Kent Award for Poetry.