The Rust of History
The Rust of History by Sotero Rivera Avilés
Translated from Spanish by Raquel Salas Rivera
Publication date: December 2022
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The Rust of History presents the selected poems of Puerto Rican writer Sotero Rivera Avilés (1933–1994), translated from Spanish by the poet’s grandson, the writer Raquel Salas Rivera. Lyrical, close, and resistant to the ease of closure, these poems cut across time to create a potent poetry of place. Rooted and exploratory, bound to anti-imperialism, the poems unfold and keep unfolding how to live for and against home.
This work is massive in its scope. Sotero Rivera Avilés writes about being a post-war veteran, he demystifies archetypes, he speaks openly about his disabilities, he complicates narratives of education, and leaves a record of regionalisms from a world that no longer exists. The resulting body of work illuminates how revisiting loss can be a means of remembering.