JACOB SHORES-ARGUELLO is a Costa Rican American poet and fiction writer. He is the author of In The Absence of Clocks, which was awarded the 2011 Crab Orchard Series Open Competition, judged by Yusef Komunyakaa. Jacob is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to Ukraine, the Dzanc Books ILP International Literature Award, The Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship in Provincetown, the Djerassi Resident Artist’s Fellowship, and the Amy Clampitt residency in Lenox, MA. His second book Paraíso was selected for the inaugural CantoMundo Poetry Prize. He will be a 2018/019 Hodder fellow at Princeton university.
Please contact for poetry readings.
Paraíso, the first book in the new CantoMundo Poetry Series, which celebrates the work of Latino/a poets writing in English, is a pilgrimage against sorrow. Erupting from a mother’s death, the poems follow the speaker as he tries to survive his grief. Catholicism, family, good rum . . . these help, but the real medicine happens when the speaker pushes into the cloud forest alone.
In a Costa Rica far away from touristy beaches, we encounter bus trips over the cold mountains of the dead, drug dealers with beautiful dogs, and witches with cell phones. Science fuses with religion, witchcraft is joined with technology, and eventually grief transforms into belief.
Throughout, Paraíso defies categorization, mixing its beautiful sonnets with playful games and magic cures for the reader. In the process, moments of pure life mingle with the aftermath of a death.