by Eléna Rivera
Poems, 56 pages
Out of Print
Unknowne Land by Eléna Rivera is the first winner of the Frances Jaffer Book Award. Rivera's poems take as her subject of exploration a young woman's coming of age in several countries in which she reads and speaks different languages. Her "unknown land" appears at collisions of the charted grounds of this cultural heritage and a variety of nameless territories that are both historical and personal. The book, Kathleen Fraser writes, "is a brilliant, mature, deeply engaging work."
This is a poem of and about extremity, and it reiterates
poetry's ongoing role as an extreme discourse of beginnings
and apocalypses, strophes and catastrophes. Language explodes or
implodes between the double pressures of tradition and innovation.
The eruptions and earthquakes and tremblings in Unknowne
Land are only the most literal manifestation of this tension.
--Elizabeth Willis, Poetry Project Newsletter, January 2001