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Tropicalia is a collection of poems by Emma Trelles, winner of the Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. The book is a melodic union between the green insistence of the subtropics and the city ensconced within. Trelles’s language is detailed and startling, her poems infused with color and light, and the secret beauty of back alleys and parking lots is seamed to sorrow, hope, and land. Rock bands play among odes to Lorca and Chagall, and the hard news of protest and war lives among the simple pleasures of words and sky. (cover photograph: "Mirrors," by Christiaan López-Miró).
— University of Notre Dame Press
”Everything looks better in a poem,/or worse, depending on how much of the day you were able/to hoard’ That’s a typical flash of wisdom from a poet who is herself a hoarder of images, a beautifier of the Miami streets she lyrically documents. I love the immediacy and gusto of Tropicalia. I am thankful that it is ‘thankful to be standing/in the heat watching egrets.’ The world may not always ‘look better’ in Emma Trelles’s poems, but it is a better place for all lovers of poetry, thanks to her rich and heartfelt book.” — Campbell McGrath
True to the musical movement of its namesake, Tropicalia is a unique fusion of sounds, sights, and textures that entrances the reader into a dream-state. Like a déjà vu of the soul, the physical and emotional landscapes these poems render so precisely feel at once familiar and yet like completely new worlds in which I find love, meaning, and resolve for the first time, again. 'Beauty is better felt than seen,' Trelles writes, and it is true: Tropicalia is not a book I merely read, but felt word by word; not poems I merely pondered, but experienced syllable after precious syllable."
— Richard Blanco
"Tropicalia borrows its title from the Brazilian art movement of the same name, a vibrant blend of genres and styles that colored the international arts scene in the late 1960s and 1970s. Edgier and more savvy than the flower-power hippie culture of its neighbors to the north, its vast creative energy drew from many different sources to shape a new hybrid most strongly felt in music, but also visual and performance art, poetry, film, and fashion. As mirror, Tropicalia the book brings a similar energy into the mix. Trelles imbues her odd brew of poetic styles and voices with a strong visual sense. The result is a narrative infused with a powerful physicality of place." — from the introduction by Silvia Curbelo, Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize judge
“In Tropicalia, Emma Trelles gives us Miami—the flora, the fauna, the languages, the interstate. Her poems are luxurious and scrumptious, socially relevant, with oomph and sizzle. The buoyancy of her images and the poignancy of her direct language make Trelles the most exciting poet to emerge recently from the state.” — Denise Duhamel"In the poem 'Nocturne in Parts,' Trelles writes 'There is something all-powerful and holy / about a cold orange. Imagine peeling / each day into one flawless strip." This gorgeous description of how the divine may perceive the passing of time is convincing, yet false when considering the fruit that is this fibrous and sweet debut collection of poems. Amid interstates and wet grass, saints and devils, protests and surrenders, Trelles exists as an eye--a recurring image in the collection--giving credence to a Florida alien and true. Rather than a contiguous peel, this collection is more like the pile of bright rinds one finds between their feet after feeding ravenously." — Kyle G. Dargan, author of Logorrhea Dementia: A Self-Diagnosis.
“With intimate and imagistic language, Little Spells is a graceful chapbook filled with humor and sorrow and the bright details of a hyphen-American life. Also a journalist, Emma Trelles is a Cuban-American writer with a sharp eye for detail: urban hamlets are painted as fables and saints and musicians offer salvation in the wilds of Florida. — GOSS 183 PRESS
Edited by Emma Trelles & Dan Vera, with poems by Denise Duhamel, Niki Herd, Emily Ho, Ed Madden, Campbell McGrath, Laurie Byro, Joanne Diaz, Blas Falconer, Myrna Deyer Skinner, Carlton Fisher, and Francisco Aragon.
Edited by Emma Trelles, with poems by David Lehman, Yaccaira Salvatierra, Sean Sexton, Julie Marie Wade, Charlie Bondhus, Sara Biggs Chaney, Catherine Prescott, Elizabeth Cross, Susan Chiavelli, Lois Marie Harrod, Ben Lucas, and Orlando Ricardo Menes.
OCHO: THE TRAVEL ISSUE
Edited by Emma Trelles, with poems by Steve Almond, Ed Ayres, Grace Cavalieri, Denise Duhamel, Susan Elbe, Stacey Harwood, Jen Karetnick, Michael Hettich, Jesse Millner, Nikki Moustaki, Geoffrey Philp, and Jacob Saenz. Cover art and design by Didi Menendez.
Edited by Emma Trelles, with poems by Grisel Y. Acosta, Elisa Albo, Richard Blanco, Sandra Castillo, Adrian Castro, Suzanne Frischkorn, Mia Leonin, Achy Obejas, Kristina Martinez, Rita Maria Martinez, Caridad McCormick, Dulce Menendez, Diego Quiros, Hugo Rodriguez, Virgil Suarez, Rich Villar, and Kemel Zaldivar. Reviews by Kirk Curnutt, Michael Parker, & Julie Enszer.
©2020, Emma Trelles, All Rights Reserved