We are very excited to pay tribute to National Poetry Month by announcing the release of Study of Rafts the new poetry collection, and first book, of Leonora Simonovis.
In Study of the Raft, Leonora’s poems weave the outer world of a failed political revolution in her native country, Venezuela, with an inner journey into the memories of migration and exile, of a home long gone, and of family relations, especially among womxn. The collection explores the consequences of colonization, starting with “Maps,” a poem that speaks of loss and uprootedness, recalling a time when indigenous lands were stolen and occupied, where stories were lost as new languages and beliefs were imposed on people. The politics of the present are also the politics of the past, not just in the Venezuelan context, but in many other Latin American and Caribbean countries. It is the reality of all indigenous people. Leonora’s poems question the capacity of language to represent the complexity of lived experience, especially when it involves living from more than one language and culture. These poems wrestle with questions of life and death, of what remains after what and whom we know are no longer with us, and how we, as humans, constantly change and adjust in the face of uncertainty.
“Study of the Raft is a carefully crafted, delicate, and intelligent account of what it means to leave a homeland with a one-way ticket.” – New York Journal of Books
Winner of the 2021 Colorado Prize for Poetry