Algonquin Books, 2004)
This is my first collection of poems in nine years! But the poems gathered here are ones I have been writing all along as I work on other books. For me, poetry is that cutting edge of the self, the part which moves out into experience ahead of every other part of the self. It's a way of saying what can't be put into words, our deepest and most secret and yet most universal feelings. I actually started writing these poems in thirty lines as a birthday poem for my fortieth birthday. A way of assessing where I had come from, where I was going. But after I had thirty poems together, and my fortieth birthday had come and gone, I kept writing. I thought, well, I'll write forty poems for my fiftieth. . .
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At any rate, these seventy-eight poems are the meditations of a woman trying to understand this moment in the middle of my life by looking back with new perspectives at my younger years and looking ahead at the unknown I have to sing to understand. . . What more can I tell you? As I said, poetry is how we say what can't be put into words or into short e-summaries, either.
further reading: Interview with Julia Alvarez in Latina Magazine
, April 2004