The pleasure of form is that it’s a kind of play,” says one poet. Another: “I often begin with a phrase, a grouping of words that have become incantatory…” A third, on a scrap of language: “I pick at it over time and eventually I come up with a line.”
And the fourth, in talking about a successful poem: “Its sounds please the ear.”
So what we have here, where Latino poetics is concerned, is a book-length study that refreshingly privileges how poems are made, and not poems-as-props for some pre-determined thesis. These interviews are companion to Aldama’s trove of close readings over the course of these four engaging studies. Formal Mattersin Contemporary Latino Poetry marks a new threshold in the study of one of American poetry’s most vital, yet under-examined strands.