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Talk Shows

"De la Torre's poetry deconstructs sets of beliefs about what it means to be a multi-dimensional subject and turns markers of gender and race on their so-called ears. Identity and gender politics are folded neatly into smart disses and observations on the specifics of cultural play and gaff, making this a book to be reckoned with." Lee Ann Brown

"No one I know writes like Mónica de la Torre. In her poems, we encounter odd characters who meet in David Lynch-like accidental fashion. Small bizarre incidents coalesce into a sign of our own mirrored, uncertain world. While all the while, the very camera which would explicate the internal state of the subject has no film in it. The speaker in her poem 'The Script' warns someone, 'You thought this would be / a dance lesson.' Reading these poems is decidedly not like the dance lesson where each toe and tap is programmed for a dedicated performance. 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. In "The Script" she goes, within lines, from the confrontationally direct—'To pretend there's meaning when all that comes out is a "My dog loves me and he's no showboat."'—to a concise and cagey comment on language's angular trajectory from sound to meaning—'To leap from canopy to can openers to can open her.' " Mary Jo Bang

"Reading Talk Shows, one feels the trace not so much of a writing hand as that of a verbose and erudite selector, accessing languages, etymologies, dictions, and lingos and putting her omni-language through Oulipian machines to create syntactically-charged, queer-toned texts." from Joyelle McSweeney's review at Latino Poetry Review, March 2008

"Though versatile conveniently hints at the word 'verse,' De La Torre’s poems require a more flowing term. Cornucopia, perhaps? Yes. Cornucopia. Talk Shows, De La Torre’s first book of poetry - to be written in English - is a cornucopia of experimental forms." from Doug Korb's review at Barrelhouse Magazine, August 2007

Bomb Magazine review of Talk Shows

Craig Santos Perez review of Talk Shows


Characterized by its rejection of experiential and narrative linearity, Mónica de la Torre's Four exposes and deconstructs the scaffolding of time. De la Torre posits "all writing is prediction," and the reader is privy to the evolution of the speaker's discourse as her predictions are both fulfilled and disappointed, necessitating amendment and revision. Four reads like a daydream transcribed, full of meditations on the weather, photographs, strangers on the subway, and the power of language to document, anticipate, and break down the barriers of time. When de la Torre writes that "we strive to tolerate being strictly in the moment," readers cannot help but nod in agreement.


Four is composed of four individually titled booklets: Lines to Undo Linearity, Shift, Mariposa Negra, and Photos While U Wait. The booklets, printed on Risograph in blue, green, orange, and black, are separately bound and bundled together in a wrap-around paper band, which displays the title. Four is printed in a limited edition run of 500 copies. The first fifty copies are signed by the author.

Poetry Foundation review of Four

Mónica de la Torre is the author of four previous poetry collections—two in Spanish and two in English, and several chapbooks, including The Happy End (The Song Cave). A native of Mexico City, she has translated Latin American poets and co–edited several multilingual anthologies, most notably Reversible Monuments: Contemporary Mexican Poetry (Copper Canyon). Her work has been published in magazines such as Aufgabe, Convolution, frieze, and The New Yorker, as well as anthologies and exhibit catalogs including Xul Solar and Jorge Luis Borges: The Art of Friendship, Corrected Slogans (Triple Canopy), and The Animated Reader (The New Museum). She was the recipient of a Lannan Foundation residency in 2014. She teaches in the creative writing MFA program at Columbia University and is BOMB Magazine's senior editor.

Poetry Foundation interview with Mónica de la Torre

Katonah Poetry interview with Mónica de la Torre

Four anchor
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