The usual advice given to a writer is to “write what you know.” Not that writing what we know makes it any easier to write. But Rhina Espaillat takes the challenge and writes.
And After All (Able Muse Press) does not hold back. Espaillat writes through the most intimate scenes of life and lets the lyricism of each poem pull the reader through each page.
“She told us children how the cows could sense
when their own calves were marked for butchering.
and how they lowed, their wordless eloquence
impossible to still with anything—”
“Butchering” from And after All
Reading Rhina Espaillat’s work reminds me of each treasured moment already experienced, the painful passings, the failed relationships, and the laughter and love from family and friends. To “write what you know” is perhaps just as difficult as writing what you don’t know. But And after All tackles the passage of time with snapshots of life that has me searching through my own for moments and memories that speak as musically as her words do. And as a fellow Latina poet, she’s an inspiration worth reading again.

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