Bare Bones of Our Alphabet, The

By (author): Irene Marques

The Bare Bones of Our Alphabet is a collection of poetry that reveals an all-consuming yearning: the desire to find a language that can tell the most about our existence. What the poet asks for, works obsessively to tap into, is a native tongue, a vernacular that bypasses the traps of a supposed rationality and objectivity forged in a body-politic consumed by self-interests that reduce our ontological experience. The Bare Bones of Our Alphabet calls for an activation of our primary ways of seeing that perceive spontaneously, without deliberation, which have been subdued by the material beneficiaries of our world and deemed non-intelligent. The poems invite us to re-enter our truly bare bones–our empty, sparkling space–before the codified verb, with its imposed grammar, placed us in a consented incarceration. The poet endeavours to uncover the bare alphabets we must return to–the redeeming letters–where the possibility of rebirth resides, for all and everything that has been annihilated by an unethical rhetoric, a verbosity of lies, engendered through undemocratic paradigms crafted by humans.


Irene Marques

Irene Marques holds a PhD in Comparative Literature, a Masters in French Literature, a Masters in Comparative Literature and a Bachelor of Social Work. She is a bilingual writer (English and Portuguese) and has taught African and Caribbean literatures, comparative and world literature, literary theory, and writing and rhetoric at the Ontario College of Art and Design University for the last seven years. In the past she was a lecturer in Portuguese and a TA at University of Toronto and also worked at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for the last 14 years. Her academic publications include the edited volume The Works of Chin Ce: A Critical Overview (2007), the manuscript Transnational Discourses on Class, Gender, and Cultural Identity (2012) and numerous articles in international journals including African Identities: Journal of Economics, Culture and Society, Research in African Literatures, and CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture. Her published works of fiction include Wearing Glasses of Water (poetry, 2007), Habitando na Metáfora do Tempo: Crónicas Desejadas (short stories, 2009) and The Circular Incantation (prose poetry, 2013). In 2019, she won the Prémio Imprensa Nacional/Ferreira de Castro (National Press Award) in Portugal for her novel Uma Casa no Mundo (A House in the World), to be published in 2020 by Imprensa Nacional.


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June 22, 2024



Book Subjects:

POETRY / Women Authors



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