Celia Lisset Alvarez’s parents left Cuba after the Castro revolution during the freedom flights of the 1970s for Madrid, Spain, where she was born. They then joined the rest of their family in Miami, where they have been living ever since. Alvarez holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. She has three collections of poetry: Shapeshifting (winner of the 2005 Spire Press Poetry Award), The Stones (Finishing Line Press 20060, and Multiverses (Finishing Line Press 2021). A fourth book, Bodies & Words, is forthcoming from Assure Press. Her poetry, short stories, essays, and reviews have been published widely, most recently in the journals Fresh Words and Catamaran and the anthologies How to Write a Form Poem. (T.S. Poetry Press) and Moving Images: Poetry Inspired by Cinema. (Before Your Quiet Eyes Publishing). She also has work forthcoming in Blue Mountain Review and Last Leaves Magazine. She has been nominated for both a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net Award. She is currently the editor of the journal Prospectus: A Literary Offering.
I found this collection immensely appealing and sometimes difficult (in a good way). It challenged my "notions" about the Cuban exile community in Florida, for one thing, enriching my imagination with the complexity of a human being's relationships to family, culture, ancestry, politics, body and self. Nice mix of free verse and formal strategies for readers interested in prosody, but emotionally and imagerically accessible to the more casual reader...heartbreaking poems, often. And genuine humor, too, in those close observations of life.