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Mónica de la Torre

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Mónica de la Torre

Born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, Mónica de la Torre came to the United States in 1993 on a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Columbia University in New York City.

Her first book of original poetry in English, Talk Shows, was published in 2007 by Switchback Books, followed by Public Domain (Roof Books) in 2008. Her book The Happy End/All Welcome is forthcoming from Ugly Duckling Presse in 2016. 

She coedited, with Michael Wiegers, the collection Reversible Monuments: Contemporary Mexican Poetry (Copper Canyon Press, 2002) and is also the coauthor of the book Appendices, Illustrations, & Notes (Smart Art Press, 2000) with artist Terence Gower. She edited and translated the volume Poems by Gerardo Deniz, and has translated numerous other Spanish-language poets.

About her work, the poet Mary Jo Bang has written: "Rather than relying on false certainties and pat recollections, de la Torre offers up a fine-tuned sense of the ridiculous, a world of tomfool capers with a hint of the macabre."

She has served as the poetry editor of The Brooklyn Rail and lives in New York City, where she works as a senior editor of BOMB Magazine



Public Domain (Roof Books, 2008)
Talk Shows (Switchback Books, 2007)


by this poet

Victor got a real sense of power
from making his own raisins. He’d buy
pounds and pounds of grapes
and leave them to dry 
on the kitchen table.

Theresa didn’t want to hear about 
her ex-husband’s cancer. Not on Father’s Day.
She took a train all night 
to have breakfast with her cousin. 
All Sunday she rode

Describe what color is not.

It’s missing a thingness.

To the point of becoming, color camouflages supporting structures.

A vague interior finds in an exterior specific correlation.

Even if shapeless, it materializes in splotches, bursts, or blobs.

How mood-like

I. Before Breakfast

When the sun turns gray and I become tired
of looking at your many-colored shoes

I will give you balloons for all the holes
we speak too much to fill. Who believes

in air, nowadays? Or do you prefer tea
with the dried fruit I will have to throw out

the window of your room? Because I