Pérez, Irene. Encounter Between Cuentos and Versos. ISBN: 978-1494379919 $14.95

This is a publication of Floricanto Press. "Encounter between cuentos and versos" is a gem to treasure as stories told in poetic forms for readers of all ages—from young adults to the more experienced and seasoned booklover. These poems show us a childhood lived in Puerto Rico, and they uncover a heart awakening to meet the complexity of a new life in the U.S. mainland. The many contrasts found here serve as portals into a private self facing fear and courage—“If you dare startle what’s inside the wall…”—and into the public self looking outwards with compassion—“But one day/Beyond the noise of all histories . . .” The Spanish dispersed throughout this collection adds a necessary pulse to the poet’s love and care for the beat and rhythm of language. But at its core, this work stands strong with meaning, encountering beauty, through lyricism, in the past and in the attention to the now.

In these sensual, intensely given, sometimes fantastical poems and prose pieces, we are given scenes of conception, birth and childhood, of a family uprooted from Puerto Rico to Brooklyn, landing in Jersey City and beyond. In Perez’s world, everything is made to count, the body passage into white dresses, “life fires and hurricanes”, “long hallways marked by doors”, the astrological influence of the planets in our whirling heavens. Her’s is an original, colorful and complex voice, and her poems do honor to our memories. —Colette Inez, author of The Luba Poems.

Cultures collide in this riveting work, but Irene Perez navigates us to safety with her glittering verse. While the world she paints is agridulce, she never forgets to sweeten all that is sour. Get ready to be transported. —Stephanie Elizondo Griest, author of Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines.

In and out, up and down, here and there, then and now, body and spirit, hard and soft, black, white, and colors in between, wind and silence, water and sand, asleep and awake...take turns, join and separate in these poems and prose work to create a tapestry of feelings shared through lyricism and passion for language. —Nora de Hoyos Comstock, Count of Me: Tales of Sisterhoods and Fierce Friendships /Cuenta Conmigo: Historias Conmovedoras de Hermandad y Amistades Incondicionales.

Irene Pérez Irene’s short stories and poems have appeared in Kalyani Magazine, South Florida Arts Journal, Northern Liberties Light, New Mirage Journal, Acentos Review, Ardent, Mangrove, Gulfstreaming Magazine, Long Shot, The Américas Review, The Bilingual Review. She has written non-fiction pieces for Somos Padres: A Newsletter for Parents and Educators, LatinGirl Magazine and Críticas. She is currently working on her first novel.