Author and Artist: Juan Felipe Herrera
Editors: Anthony Cody, Carmen Giménez, and Farid Matuk
Publisher: Noemi Press (2022)
Originally released as a bilingual collection in 1989 by Stephen Kessler’s Alcatraz Editions, Juan Felipe Herrera wrote the poems of Akrílica starting in 1977, occasioned by the energy and dialogue that he encountered upon meeting writer and co-conspirator Francisco X. Alarcón (1954-2016). Through a new interview included here and through his own Visual Introduction, archival photographs from his travels across the Americas, and new art created in conversation with the collection, Herrera offers a rich set of references, inspirations, and influences that shaped Akrílica while sharing his take on this singular book’s place in his development as a poet and multimedia artist.
This new edition and new translation of Akrílica arrives now to expand the political and artistic possibilities that form our current horizon. This project is not one of inclusion or recovery. This is a project of retrieval. We steal Akrílica away from literary institutions, away from the discipline of literature as such, and away from traditions of experimental poetics that should hope to claim it. Oriented toward the liveliness of the imagination, committed to fundamentally changing itself in order to meet the moment, Akrílica belongs somewhere else; it belongs in the hands of those finding one another in a gathering that has yet to take place.