Books and TranslationsMariela Griffor This collection contains 50 poems, written in the period from 1986 to 2011. They are about traumas of the past that lead to the tension between political idealism, motherhood and the shifting ground of modern social structure.
House HOUSE is a love affair between the poet and Chile. While making real the struggles of war,
becoming an expatriate and the alienation that accompanies the immersion in a new culture, Griffor
also conveys the beauty and nostalgia she feels for her home country. She commands our attention, and
we share her sadness, compassion, anger and hope. Influenced greatly by the American lyric tradition,
Mariela's poems play softly and skillfully; the smooth strum lingers in the readers ears. Mariela Griffor
is the author of EXILIANA. Born in the city of Concepcion in southern Chile, she attended the University of
Santiago and the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. She left Chile for an involuntary exile in Sweden in
1985. Ms. Griffor lives in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, where she is founder of the Institute for Creative
Writers at Wayne State University and Publisher of Marick Press.
by Mariela Griffor
Mayapple Press 2007
In terms of subject matter, House is about pillow talk, stars in the sky, and childhood innocence. It is about torture chambers, bloodshed done in the name of God. It praises love for an aunt, a grandmother, a daughter, a friend. Its prayers need answers from a God sometimes not felt or found. Have we offended You?, the poet pleads. The words of House spring from a mind whose mother tongue is not English—therefore we can forgive her sometimes far from bull’s-eye diction. For example, in “Twenty-Nine: Yellow Ribbons,” she writes, My skin is curdled with hope. This expression is odd. When speaking of hope, a writer should select a word more positively charged, such as “brimming” or “shining.” Yet these kinds of mistakes can be forgiven, as Griffor’s art does the important job of reminding one that murder is murder in any country; tears are tears no matter what the nationality. more ... — Heather McMacken of thedetroiter.comMariela Griffor transcends the terrible and sordid hell of our sociopolitical everyday to penetrate into territories of moving sands...zones where the imagination leaves the body's prison to lead us to new experiences, subtle, hopeful, contradictory, and in the end, very human. more ... — Camilo Marks author of Altiva Musica de la Tormenta The author's voice is ours: And, yet, the politics are inescapable, their deeply felt human urgency pierces the reader (at least this reader) with the sense of recognition, compassion, understanding. The love poem and political poem are brought together in these lines and their unity is clear, and also somehow instructive to many American poets of our time. — Ilya Kaminsky author of Dancing in Odessa
ExilianaLuna Publications 2007 The poetry of Mariela Griffor, a Chilean poet by way of both Sweden and the United States, refreshes itself at every turn: at once vivacious and soulful, candid and lyrical, fraught with the exigencies of exile, but perfumed by memory. — Molly Peacock author of Cornucopia It is not just her lyrical voice and not her biography that attracts me to Griffor's work it is "her ability to write about love in the time of war, attempting to make of memory's violent imprint into language an art. Reading this book, I am most interested in Griffor's constant pursuit of both tenderness and truth. — Ilya Kaminsky author of Dancing in Odessa An incredibly powerful and complex journey beyond the window of exile into the depths of the experience. Exiliana is brilliant and maddening in its uncensored truth about love and death, war and life-brilliant in the richness and detail that can only come from a mind rare enough to focus on both, the war-torn graves of Latin America and the politics of thrown away pink sofas on the streets of Detroit, maddening in the way it forces us to continuously question the reality of our own lives. This is a significant work by any standard. — Rainelle Burton author of The Root Worker
Site design by © 2006 Mariela Griffor. All Rights Reserved. Last Update: June 2012. ^ Back to top