What Happens Is Neither (Paperback)

What Happens Is Neither By Angela Narciso Torres Cover Image
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A deeply-sensorial reflection on presence, absence, and the act of losing

“What Happens Is Neither / the end nor the beginning. / Yet we’re wired to look for signs,” offers the speaker of Angela Narciso Torres’s latest collection, which approaches motherhood, aging, and mourning through a series of careful meditations. In music, mantra, and prayer, Torres explores the spaces in and around grief—in varying proximity to it and from different vantage points. She writes both structurally formal poems that enfold the emotionality of loss and free verse that loosens the latch on memory and lets us into the sensory worlds of the speaker’s childhood and present. In poems set in two countries and homes, Torres considers what it means to leave a mark, vanish, and stay in one place. In a profound act of recollection and preservation, Torres shows us how to release part of ourselves but remain whole

About the Author

Angela Narciso Torres is the author of Blood Orange (Willow Books Literature Award for Poetry, 2013) and To the Bone (Sundress Publications, 2020). Recent work appears in Poetry, Missouri Review, and Quarterly West. A graduate of Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers and Harvard Graduate School of Education, Angela has received fellowships from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Illinois Arts Council, and Ragdale Foundation. She won the 2019 Yeats Poetry Prize (W.B. Yeats Society of New York) and was named one of NewCityLit’s Lit 50: Who Really Books in Chicago in 2016. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Manila, she serves as a senior and reviews editor for RHINO Poetry. She lives in Southern California.

Praise For…

“In What Happens Is Neither, Angela Narciso Torres has jimmied the lock to a house of intricate family memory and sumptuous wisdom. These are poems of intense reflection and loss, but also of rediscovery and delight. As the years pass and one becomes overwhelmed by what is remembered and all that has been forgotten, such poems might restore the balance that allows us to live with and beyond that loud clanging in the heart.”
—Tim Seibles

“Nights, listening to Bach, ‘it turned her sadness into something she recognized.’ The grace of these eloquent poems is in precisely such recognition. In images drawn from nature (‘what the body remembers’) and a pitch perfect ear, her lines reach the profound sadness and beauty of human existence, finding speech for what both demands and resists utterance. She writes like the craftsman of her poem whose ‘tools, like locusts, peel the tattered layers / that drift like early snow, the wood’s deep grain exposed.’”
—Eleanor Wilner

Featured in Katherine Ouellette's "10 Books That Will Transport You Anywhere But Here This Winter"
— Katherine Ouellette

"...This stunning volume illuminates scenes of domesticity from within like summer lanterns made from mason jars full of fireflies."
— Diego Báez

"...Torres’s lines read effortlessly no matter their construction, breaking smoothly and fluidly, like the unraveling of memory. This collection succeeds as an altogether tender, arresting exploration of what it means to lose something essential." 
— Publishers Weeker

Product Details
ISBN: 9781945588693
ISBN-10: 1945588691
Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication Date: February 15th, 2021
Pages: 110
Language: English