Introduced by Denice Frohman
In conversation with Cynthia Dewi Oka
The 2018–19 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia, Raquel Salas Rivera is the author of five full-length books of poetry. These poetry collections include lo terciario/the tertiary, longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry and winner of the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry; while they sleep (under the bed is another country), longlisted for the 2020 Pen America Open Book Award; and x/ex/exis, winner of the inaugural Ambroggio Prize. The recipient of a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a grant from the Mellon Foundation, he serves as the principal translator for El proyecto de la literatura puertorriqueña/ The Puerto Rican Literature Project. In his latest poetry collection, Salas Rivera imagines a future decolonialized Puerto Rico.
Originally from Bali, Indonesia, Cynthia Dewi Oka is the author of Fire Is Not a Country (2021) and Salvage (2017) from Northwestern University Press, and Nomad of Salt and Hard Water (2016) from Thread Makes Blanket Press. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, POETRY, Academy of American Poets, Hyperallergic, Guernica, The Rumpus, ESPNW, and elsewhere. A recipient of the Leeway Foundation's Transformation Award and the Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize, she is currently Poet in Residence at the Amy Clampitt House.