#AWP20 Featured Presenter Q&A with Raquel Salas Rivera
AWP | December 2019
Event Title: A Reading with Robin Coste Lewis, Raquel Salas Rivera, & TC Tolbert, Sponsored by the Academy of American Poets
Description: Join the Academy of American Poets for a reading by Los Angeles Poet Laureate Robin Coste Lewis, Philadelphia Poet Laureate Raquel Salas Rivera, and Tucson Poet Laureate TC Tolbert. Executive Director Jennifer Benka will introduce the event. Founded in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is the nation's largest membership-based organization promoting contemporary poets and poetry.
Participants: Robin Coste Lewis, Raquel Salas Rivera, TC Tolbert
Location: HemisFair Ballroom C1, Henry B. González Center, Ballroom Level
Date & Time: Friday, March 6, 3:20 p.m. to 4:35 p.m.
Q: What are some of the conference events or Bookfair exhibitors you look forward to seeing at AWP?
I look forward to checking out all the small presses and running into people I otherwise wouldn’t see at the Bookfair. Since I’m now in Puerto Rico, I’ll get to see people I miss.
Q: What do you remember most about your first AWP? What advice would you give to an AWP first-timer?
Last year’s AWP was my first AWP. I remember walking under the plum blossom trees in Portland with Ana Portnoy Brimmer, Salima Hamirani, and Norma Liliana Valdez. I would recommend sharing with friends and going to some of the incredible offsite events.
Q: What is your favorite AWP conference memory?
Catching up with Colette Arrand and celebrating all the work we did on The Wanderer.
Q: What book or books that you’ve read over the last year would you most highly recommend?
Nicole Delgado, Periodo especial; Xavier Valcárcel, Aterrizar no es regreso; Zaina Alsous, A Theory of Birds; Cyrée Jarelle Johnson, Slingshot; Sara Uribe Sánchez, Antígona González; Yolanda Segura, Persona; Isabel Zapata, Una ballena es un país; Rubén Ramos Colón, Wéilsong; Willie Perdomo, The Crazy Bunch; Ilya Kaminsky, Deaf Republic; Rita Indiana, Hecho en Saturno; Harmony Holiday, A Jazz Funeral for Uncle Tom; Oliver Baez Bendorf, Advantages of Being Evergreen; Urayoán Noel, Tróptico; Adelaide Ivánova, O Martelo; and Reginald Dwayne Betts, Felon.
Q: If you’ve been to San Antonio before, what places do you recommend that our attendees should visit?
I’ve never been to San Antonio and am excited to be traveling there for the first time!
Raquel Salas Rivera was born in Puerto Rico and grew up there and in the United States. Rivera is the author of the forthcoming x/ex/exis (poemas para la nación) (poems for the nation), winner of the 2018 Ambroggio Prize. They are also the author of lo terciario/the tertiary, which received the 2019 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry and was longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award in Poetry; tierra intermitente; and Caneca de anhelos turbios. Rivera was appointed poet laureate of Philadelphia in 2018. In 2019, Rivera was named an Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellow.
(Photo Credit: Paloma Alicea)