#TPQ5: STEVEN ALVAREZ

Douglas Kearney

I cannot say much beyond that Kearney is a genius whose poetry continually redefines the possible. Innovative in every way, powerfully attentive to the social world, but also committed to experimental crafting of a poetics.

Octavia Butler

Speculative fiction that weaves in elements of social inequality, race, and gender dynamics, with clarity and imagination.

Philip K. Dick

A visionary writer whose explorations about automation and technology have become especially prescient. His works that explore time travel offer unique narratives that reflexively craft the possibilities of restructuring time in stories.

Leslie Marmon Silko – The Almanac of the Dead

This novel is the epic of southern Arizona, where I was born and raised. It is also the epic of the Americas, with layers of indigenous cosmovisions, histories, and stories woven into narratives of conquest, warfare, and resilience.

Daniel Borzutzky

Each long line of Borzutzky’s verses are lyrical and infused with meaning directly relevant to the political. There is also a biting humor to Borzutzky’s work, similar to Kearney in this regard, but also in how formal innovation is directly linked to humor with a social conscience.


Steven Alvarez is the author of The Codex Mojaodicus, winner of the 2017 Fence Modern Poets Prize. He lives in New York City.

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