Juan Luna

Juan Luna's Revolver

Description

The poems in Juan Luna' s Revolver both address history and attempt to transcend it through their exploration of the complexity of diaspora. Attending to the legacy of colonial and postcolonial encounters, Luisa A. Igloria has crafted poems that create links of sympathetic human understanding, even as they revisit difficult histories and pose necessary questions about place, power, displacement, nostalgia, beauty, and human resilience in conditions of alienation and duress. Igloria traces journeys made by Filipinos in the global diaspora that began since the encounter with European and American colonial power. Her poems allude to historical figures such as the Filipino painter Juan Luna and the novelist and national hero Jose Rizal, as well as the eleven hundred indigenous Filipinos brought to serve as live exhibits in the 1904 Missouri World's Fair. The image of the revolver fired by Juan Luna reverberates throughout the collection, raising to high relief how separation and exile have shaped concepts of identity, nationality, and possibility. Suffused with gorgeous imagery and nuanced emotion, Igloria's poetry achieves an intimacy fostered by gem-like phrases set within a politically-charged context speaking both to the personal and the collective.