The locales of these poems range from the mountains of western Pennsylvania to the Andes, the subjects from memories of Kilwein Guevara’s native Colombia to a New York street scene. What characterizes all of them is precise and surprising language, a brilliance of effect, that establishes him as one of the most original young American poets.
Guevara writes with immense poise and authority. His images are exact and true; his language is raw yet utterly polished. . . .the word multicultural might have been coined for this poet, who alludes to Dante as casually as he deploys Spanish slang. Voices haunt his book. . . .
What characterizes all of [the poems] is precise and surprising language, a brilliance of affect, that establishes Guevara as one of the most original yound American poets.
Poems of the River Spirit is more than just a compassionate view of the world of workers in the Pittsburgh area. Guevara's own Hispanic and European roots also turn him toward a wider, almost Whitmanesque vision of the pther people in other geographies. Good work with solid, inventive surprises in almost every page.
Pittsburghers will feel lucky to read this great book.
Maurice Kilwein Guevara has won grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the J. William Fulbright Commission. His poetry has appeared in publications such as the Kenyon Review and Poetry, and his first book, Postmortem, was published in 1994.