Raquel may believe in innocence, but they put their faith in impact. Each blow is a gasp, and each poem is a mantra. Their poems are small, but no less powerful, building one on top of the other. […] Raquel opens to us, and we join them—as friends, as family, as warriors. Their investment in strength in numbers means that collectively these poems become more and more powerful, each one drawing on the strength of the other. And this investment means that we draw power from becoming a part of Raquel’s world. Raquel calls to us ‘come here/ i invoke you. let’s invoke ourselves together,’ and together, we do.


—Carmen Giménez Smith

Raquel Salas Rivera is a witch. She’s a poet, but she is more witch than poet. Surely, they would have burned her at the stake if it weren’t for one minuscule detail. She was born in an epic epoch in which one can say what she says, but at a price. The price is to be labeled as an offender. This is what she does with words. She breaks, throws, shoots.


—Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro

Salas-Rivera’s poems, almost always performed and published with both the Spanish and English translation, gear towards exploiting this middle stage, even if wearing the face of original vs. translation. These moments of transformed translation or left-out translation […] ring out as crisp and hot when the reader is also bilingual. […Salas Rivera] relaxes the connection between reader and projected speaker and creates a rhetorical privacy in the space of reading.


—Gabriel Ojeda Sague



“A poesia de Raquel Salas Rivera”

Introduction by Carmen Giménez Smith for Boston Review Sampler

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