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RELEASE DATE - 28 APRIL 2022
Madness is a selection of poems for a fictional poet: Luis Montes-Torres, a gay Cuban exile who makes a minor name for himself in the world of poetry before the contours of his ordinary life become overwhelming, stilted, and impossible.
This is a story of the unpredictable wavering between anxiety and attachment, between the political and the personal, that accompanies any American life marked by difference.
Madness is a study in how pleasure, crisis, wonder, disappointment, love, and fantasy are written into our forms for living.
"Under the guise of reclaiming an imaginary, unsung poet, Ojeda-Sagué moves between biographical notes and poetry in a thoughtfully orchestrated contrapuntal exploration of mental health and its effects on human creativity."
Layla Benitez-James, Harriet
"Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué’s grand confection in Madness is the fictional poet Luis Montes-Torres. Through his selected poems and biographical mini-essays by fictional coeditors, Ojeda-Sagué constitutes a meditation on a poet’s life, the life of a queer Cuban immigrant, the life of hermetic sweetness and depression, with a yearning love for nature, boyfriend and dogs. Montes-Torres’s body of work is all assertion and retreat, formally adventurous, traditionally lyrical, obscure and combative. He inhabits the kind of poetry world that Roberto Bolaño lovingly described, of idealism, ambition, obscure prizes, and editions of three hundred, that happens to be ours. Looking back from 2055, Montes-Torres is presented as a minor poet, and that may be Ojeda-Sagué’s biggest ruse because, Reader, these poems will ravish you with beauty, idealism and ambition."
"Sprung from the wildly inventive mind of Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué, Madness represents the selected poems of fictional poet Luis Montes-Torres (1976-2035). The book flows luxuriously between poetry, biography, and what I'm tempted to call speculative fiction. Ojeda-Sagué displays a dexterity with a wide range of forms, from short lyrics to long poems to diary entries. As this imagined poet's biography unfolds, the book shifts and slips and curls, and throughout we remain captivated and intrigued as travel companions. What a pleasure to be invited into the life and poems of an extraordinary person-after all, aren't we all ordinary and extra, 'nervous and breathing,' trying to find 'a measure arranged into tenderness'?"
"Literary heir to Fernando Pessoa, Jack Spicer, Reinaldo Arenas, John Weiners, and Benno von Archimboldi, once and future poet Luis Montes-Torres (1976-2035) endures in poems of enabling welcome into 'someone’s hallucination.' Gabriel Ojeda-Sagué’s desire for desdoblamiento engenders a poetry of self-possession that wonders, with ear attuned to attachment and mood, who is anybody writing for? His fictional coeditors have expertly selected from nine books Montes-Torres bequeathed us in small press editions—lifetimes yet to come that speak the twin language of good-natured cubist intimacy and exile culture shock. In Ojeda-Sagué’s self-fable—a tribute to immigrant dwelling and descent—'every repetition is / a little ghost of me waving / from an echo.'”