John Torres (PR Books #3)

Fiebre de Fresno by John Torres (Terranova Editores, 2009). Available here.

John Torres (1977-) is a young, contemporary poet, therapist and professor. His first book, Fracturas del Devenir, was published by Isla Negra in 2006 (reviewed here). This is his second collection. What’s interesting is that with younger poets like John, they’re all over the web. The first poet in this series, though more established, had very limited web presence. Of course, with younger poets, it’s more or less the same stuff on each page, a poem here and there, a brief bio. The extent of which is this: John Torres has a bachelors in forensic psychology from the University of Puerto Rico and a masters in psychology. His work has been praised and published in newspapers, literary journals and anthologies of poetry in Puerto Rico and abroad. He is a therapist and professor.

This book is clearly immersed in pop-culture references (Fresno Fever is the title in English). The very academic blurb on the back goes something like this: “Fresno Fever enacts its poetic fracture through the aesthetic weight of mis-writing. Exhausting the meaning of the word, Torres manufactures the register of interference that refracts language as a function of resistance: opposing the  always elusive fluidity of enunciation with the ultimate possibility of any absolute significance. Slanted poetry.”

So I actually read this slim volume (without a dictionary, which left me some gaps) when I was travelling. I reviewed it here. I stand by what I said – some of the poetry falls into overblown rhetoric of philosophy/psychology and is less interesting for it. But some of it is rich and dense, full of interesting language and sound.

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