In writing Night Willow, Igloria said she wanted to stretch both herself and her craft, asking her prose to do "the same hard muscle work I expect in every poem that I write."
"It was an experience that felt almost like trying my hand at musical composition," she said. "I wanted to create mood, tone, networks of memory and echo so that the poems could speak to each other across and within the collection - but at the same time achieve a level of language that is also precise and thoughtful."
At Phoenicia we feel she has achieved this goal, and much more besides, and expect that the readers who come to our press for the highest-quality contemporary poetry -- poetry that also pushes boundaries -- will agree.
Readers may be familiar with Igloria's poem-a-day project, published on Dave Bonta's blog, Via Negativa; what they may not realize is that she was the first Filipina woman of letters installed in the Palanca Literary Hall of Fame in the Philippines, and is an eleven-time winner of that country's highest literary award, the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature (in poetry, non-fiction, and short fiction) as well as having a very long list of American poetry awards to her credit.
Sabine Murray called Igloria "a singular and revelatory voice in American poetry," and Kristin Naca said that in her poems, "measured, intuitive music splendidly unleashes the bewildering in the everyday."
I still remember reading, with admiration and that sense of surprise editors always look for, the first poem Luisa sent to an issue of qarrtsiluni that I was co-editing. Carlos A. Angeles has said: “[Her] poetry inhabits the heart first, then the mind, and the soul…her work contains some of the most extraordinary and most polished poetry written by a Filipino poet in English today.” I agree, but think there is no reason any longer to limit Igloria's strength to one country's poetic output; it is extraordinary and polished poetry by any standard, and we're proud to be publishing this collection.