W. M. Rivera

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To quote from Edward Albee, it might be said of Bill Rivera (aka W.M. Rivera) that: 'sometimes a person has to go a very long distance out of his way to come back a short distance correctly.' Born on Calliope Street in the Irish Channel of New Orleans, Rivera began writing and publishing poetry in his teens. In 1960, his first book was published, titled “The End of Legend's String” (Views Press, Washington, DC). This first book was illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings by the now renowned Mexican artist, Jose Luis Cuevas. During the next five decades, while he continued to write and occasionally publish poetry, he turned his energies mainly to making a living and worked in a variety of international institutions (in Mexico City, Mexico; Paris, France; New York, New York; Los Angeles, CA; Syracuse, New York, and College Park, MD). Over that time he became involved in a variety of professions (documentalist, education specialist, therapist and academic) and traveled widely in Africa, Latin America and Asia. He retired as professor of adult and extension education from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2008. Since 2008 he has re-dedicated his life to writing poems. In 2011, after a long hiatus, he had a second book published, titled “Buried in the Mind's Backyard" mainly about people and place in New Orleans (Brickhouse Books, Baltimore, MD). In 2013, The Finishing Line Press (Georgetown, KY) published a chapbook of his work, titled “The Living Clock. Both “Buried...” and “Living...” carried cover-illustrations by the renown Mexican-American artist living in Spain, Miguel Conde. Rivera's current work has also appeared in numerous reviews. He currently resides in College Park, MD.

Written by W. M. Rivera November 2013

Magazine Publications

The author is grateful to the editors of the following magazines where these poems originally appeared:

Blazevox: “Song bubbles in the universe,” “Triolet” 11, “Sweat for tears,” “Preparing,” “Only that” – (Winter, 2011)

Broadkill River Review: “Latecomer,” “The Blue Man and the Patriarch,” “Straight’s Crooked a Road as Any,” “Knowledge, “Cold Clorox,” “Mehr Licht,” “That Far,” “No starting over,” (2013) “Mighty barkers,” “Orpheus,” “Nothing Changes Everything,” (2014) “Bewick‘s Wren,” “Iceland and the Starfish” (2015)

The Broome Review: “On a back street in Prague”

California Quarterly: “Delmore Schwartz” -- in 2010, 35:4, p. 28. California Quarterly: --Honorable Mention for “Eros and Thanatos” in the 24th annual CSPS (California State Poetry Society) Poetry Contest.

The Curator Magazine (online): “KwaZulu-land,” 2011 (March), “The Logic of Rot,” 2011 (April), “Blank slate” 2011 (August 12), “Exiting J.F.K. Airport” (published as “Machets and diamonds”, -- 2011 (December)

Gargoyle: “Let’s pretend,” “Piques,” “Mortality” in 2010, “Let’s pretend,” “Piques” – 2012, “What are they Whispering,” “The Perfect Piece” (2015)

Ghazal: “Cartoon figures etched in ecstasy,” “If you don’t feel it” 2011

The Innisfree Poetry Journal: “Encomium,” “A Gift,” “Rebooting,” “Lifelong Tantalus,” “No Windows,” “Diminishment” “In the hospital after surgery,” “New Orleans and the Neighborhood,” “Arny,” “The Poem I meant for you,” “Beauty at Rest,” “Framed Expanse,” “Five Panties on the Clothesline.”

Lit Undressed: “Tight” -- 2011

Recursive Angel: “The Living Clock,” “Baggy sack” “Aware” 2011

Third Wednesday: “Western Wind, the corollary” – 2011

The Living Clock (a chapbook, Finishing Line Press) -- 2013


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