When Hurricane María unleashed its devastation onto Puerto Rico, thousands of lives were lost to the storm in what was the island's worst natural disaster on record. With so much of the recovery still underway and the scars still fresh, its citizens continue to contend with the reality that life on the island has fundamentally changed.
In his first collection of poems written in English, La Torre Lagares journeys through his memory in an effort to recompose his shattered land. Together, these poems form a poignant, personal account of a man facing the tragic destinies of his family and his country in the aftermath of a natural disaster. For example, the deaths of the mother and the father are resignified as the death of the poet's personal relationship, which at the same time evokes the rupture between individuals and their sense of place.
Drawing from both American and Latin American poetry, as well as global influences, to articulate a language of loss and devastation in search of a new identity, this collection illuminates a chaotic and confusing landscape that is not only physical but also cultural, social, and political. Taken together, this work serves as a stirring reminder of the dislocation and fractured attachment that speaks to many Americans, including transnationals and immigrants. Ultimately it speaks to coping with physical loss and emotional pain in the face of human adversity.