ire’ne lara silva

ire’ne lara silva (Poetry, Fiction) | Austin, TX

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ire’ne lara silva is the author of two poetry collections, furia (Mouthfeel Press, 2010) and Blood Sugar Canto (Saddle Road Press, 2016), which were both finalists for the International Latino Book Award in Poetry, an e-chapbook, Enduring Azucares, (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2015), as well as a short story collection, flesh to bone (Aunt Lute Books, 2013) which won the Premio Aztlán. She and poet Dan Vera are also the co-editors of Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzaldúan Borderlands, (Aunt Lute Books, 2017), a collection of poetry and essays. ire’ne is the recipient of a 2017 NALAC Fund for the Arts Grant, the final recipient of the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Award, the Fiction Finalist for AROHO’s 2013 Gift of Freedom Award, and the 2008 recipient of the Gloria Anzaldúa Milagro Award. ire’ne is currently working on a new collection of poetry, CUICACALI/House of Song, and her first novel, Naci.


Imaniman: Poets Writing in the Anzalduan Borderlands (Aunt Lute, 2016). Edited with Dan Vera. Anthology. CNF. Poetry.
blood sugar canto (Saddle Road Press, 2016)
blood sugar canto (Saddle Road Press, 2016). Poetry.
flesh to bone (Aunt Lute, 2013)
flesh to bone (Aunt Lute, 2013). Short Story. Fiction.

furia (Mouthfeel, 2010)
furia (Mouthfeel, 2010). Poetry.

Press & Reviews

ire’ne lara silva’s poetic journey in furia is one of shedding and healing. She peels away at the ‘calloused layers’ of her heart a poem at a time para poder sonarse/imaginarse libre. Pieces in the collection deal with memory, the loss of a mother, love/desire, and the struggle to forgive an abusive father.

At times the manuscript feels heavy and dark, but ire’ne is able to weave out of those moments and offer us glimpses of light. Her work is most powerful when she’s able to bust through the pain, transform it, and celebrate herself and others despite all the furia and all the loss. For example, ”i come from women illiterate and rough-skinned” honors the women who’ve come before her.

Although ire’ne is addressing a legacy of female oppression, she does so in an empowering way, challenging Virginia Woolf’s claim that for millions of years women have sat indoors. The poet’s ancestors have not sat indoors; they’ve slaved and suffered, their class/color/race determining their particular roles in society.

—Olga Garcia Echeverria, LaBloga blogspot

Rooted in a Chicana/Latina/indigenous geographic and cultural sensibility, the stories of flesh to bone take on the force of myth, old and new, giving voice to those who experience the disruption and violence of the borderlands. In these nine tales, Silva metes out a furious justice—a whirling, lyrical energy—that scatters the landscape with bones of transformation, reclamation, and healing.
…An original and authentic voice…with a unique vision. A blend of indigenismo and folktales retold in a modern vein…these stories come from the clouds, from spirits of ancient ancestors, from the oblique corners of the human consciousness…A new and engaging duende is born.

—Alejandro Murguia, author of This War Called Love

If Chagall had written, he would have painted words in the fierce brushstrokes of ire’ne lara silva’s stories. If Remedios Varo had told stories, she would have wound the tendrils of her magic the way ire’ne lara silva paints her world.

—Cecile Pineda, author of Devil’s Tango: How I Learned the Fukushima Step by Step

ire’ne lara silva writes about what’s between dark shadow and daylight, when, as on the Day of the Dead, we are so aware of the sacred. Though fiction, ire’ne’s prose seems to transform into chanting verse.

—Dagoberto Gilb, author of Before the End, After the Beginning: Stories

In her brilliant fiction debut, flesh to bone, ire’ne lara silva uses hauntingly lyrical language to tell stories cast in the Latin American tradition of Juan Rulfo and Maria Luisa Bombal. But, do not mistake this work for magical realism. The fantastical elements, raw voices, and shifting realities inhabit an emotional, psychological, and all-too-physical landscape of loss and violence. Life-affirming and intense, the stories sweep us into another world where we come face to face with the deepest truths. Brava!

—Norma Cantú, author of Canícula: Snapshots of a Girlhood en la Frontera

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