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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Mérida scribe named Cincinnati’s new poet laureate

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Manuel Iris. Photo: City Beat

Manuel Iris’ first book of poetry was published in his native Mérida when he was only 20. Now, he’s in the U.S., and by a vote of City Council, was named poet laureate in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Now 34, Iris left Mérida for the United States 12 years ago in pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Spanish from New Mexico State University.

In 2013, he graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a doctorate in romance languages and literature.

In March, Iris released Translating Silence, his newest book and his first one in English. It translates his previously published poetry.

Iris has a following back in Mexico. A few weeks ago, the telenovela “Por Amar sin Ley” mentioned Iris’ name in a brief scene.

In his poem “Ars poetica,” Iris sees the beauty in a stubborn yellow leaf fighting to stay attached to its branch in a storm:

I watch her battle
against wind and rain,
against gravity …

Her persistence
does not deserve oblivion.

That is why
I put her here,
in this verse
from which she will not fall.

Source: Cincinnati City Beat

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