by Leonora Simonovis
University Press of Colorado, 2021
Paper: 978-1-885635-79-2 | eISBN: 978-1-885635-80-8
Library of Congress Classification PS3619.I562865
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6

Winner of the 2021 Colorado Prize for Poetry
In Study of the Raft, Leonora Simonovis’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. Simonovis’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.

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