Body Was by Isabelle Garron, translated by Eléna Rivera

Litmus Press


Softcover / 5.125 x 7.875 in / 240 pp

ISBN 978-1-933959-51-1


Body Was: Suites & their variations (2006-2009) is a book-length poem that begins with the death of a father and ends with the birth of a child. It is a bold and innovative poem that works on principles of improvisation, like those of Keith Jarrett and other jazz greats, where the reader is drawn into a series of movements that rise and fall like waves. The poem is divided into six “Suites,” each with its own “Variation,” each with its notations, echoes and silences, all the while maintaining the poem’s forward movement. Isabelle Garron is able to capture the mind’s motions, its fleeting thoughts, its fragmentations, shedding light on past and future, while at the same time showing the clarity of a present breaking in.

Eléna Rivera is a poet and translator who was born in Mexico City and spent her formative years in Paris. She won the 2010 Robert Fagles prize for her translation of Bernard Noël's The Rest of the Voyage (Graywolf Press, 2011) and is a recipient of a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in Translation. She has also translated three of Isabelle Baladine Howald’s books: Secret of Breath (Burning Deck Press, 2009), The Pain of Returning (Mindmade Books 2012) and Parting Movement, Constantly Prevented (Oystercatcher Press, 2014).

Isabelle Garron is a poet, critic, editor, and associate professor at the Institute Mines Telecom-Paristech. Her most recent book of poetry is Bras vif (Flammarion, 2018). Her other books are Corps fut (Flammarion, 2011), Qu'il Faille (Flammarion, 2007), and Face devant contre (2002) which was translated by Sarah Riggs as Face Before Against (Litmus Press, 2008).