About this book
Winner, 2017 CantoMundo Poetry Prize
Paraíso, the first book in the new CantoMundo Poetry Series, which celebrates the work of Latino/a poets writing in English, is a pilgrimage against sorrow. Erupting from a mother’s death, the poems follow the speaker as he tries to survive his grief. Catholicism, family, good rum . . . these help, but the real medicine happens when the speaker pushes into the cloud forest alone.
In a Costa Rica far away from touristy beaches, we encounter bus trips over the cold mountains of the dead, drug dealers with beautiful dogs, and witches with cell phones. Science fuses with religion, witchcraft is joined with technology, and eventually grief transforms into belief.
Throughout, Paraíso defies categorization, mixing its beautiful sonnets with playful games and magic cures for the reader. In the process, moments of pure life mingle with the aftermath of a death.
About the author
Jacob Shores-Argüello is a Costa Rican American writer. He is the author of In the Absence of Clocks and is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, the Dzanc Books ILP International Literature Award, the Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship, and the Amy Clampitt residency in Lenox, Massachusetts. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, and Guernica.
Every year the University of Arkansas Press together with CantoMundo accepts submissions for the CantoMundo Poetry Series and awards the $1,000 CantoMundo Poetry Prize to a book of poetry by a Latina/o writer. Since its founding in 2009, CantoMundo has cultivated and supported a community of Latina/o poets and the poetry they create, and the University of Arkansas Press has long been committed to publishing diverse kinds of poetry by a diversity of poets. The series editors are Deborah Paredez and Celeste Gúzman Mendoza, cofounders and codirectors of CantoMundo.