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Catalog » Browse by Title: I » Ima and Coli Are the Tree That Was Never a Seed / Ima y coli son el arbol que nunca fue semilla

Ima and Coli Are the Tree That Was Never a Seed / Ima y coli son el arbol que nunca fue semilla


The new winner of the Paz Prize for Poetry, granted by the National Poetry Series, is the author’s impressionistic homage to his hometown of Colima, Mexico.

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What people are saying…

“In this remarkable bilingual debut . . . Pérez-Cortés cracks open the name of his hometown, Colima, to generate a vast mythology . . . The side-by-side presentation of the original Spanish and its English translation adds another layer to this engrossing volume.”

A Poets & Writers Page One Selection

“This [book] will stay with me for an eternity . . . Simply divine . . . I urge you to buy it, settle in on a quiet, rainy afternoon, and allow the words to flow freely over you and through you, for Ima and Coli Are The Tree That Was Never a Seed will free you from your, perhaps, spiritually cloistered being early on.”
Exclusive Magazine

“In this poetry collection, published in Spanish and in English, Pérez-Cortés spins images of his hometown of Colima, Mexico: ancient, pre-Hispanic Colima and Colima today. The tree in the book’s title becomes a character in its own right, as it dances in and out of these poems.”
Alta Magazine

“Winner of the National Poetry Series Paz Prize for Poetry, Pérez-Cortés’s collection pays homage to his hometown of Colima, Mexico, and celebrate nature and place.”
Publishers Weekly, included in Poetry Adult Announcements for Fall 2021


Previous winners of the Paz Prize for Poetry include Miami Century Fox, by  and translated by Eduardo Aparicio, Nine Coins/Nueve monedas, by Carlos Pintado and translated by Hilary Vaughn Dobel, Colaterales/Collateral by Dinapiera Di Donato and translated by Ricardo Alberto Maldonado and I Offer My Heart as a Target/Ofrezco mi corazón como una diana, by Johanny Vázquez Paz and translated by Lawrence Schimel.

Translated by Sean Manning.

Ima and Coli Are the Tree That Was Never a Seed is Alejandro Pérez-Cortés’s personal genesis of Colima, Mexico, published here in both English and Spanish. The tree is an element/character in the book that appears and disappears throughout. Some poems are set in an ancient pre-Hispanic Colima; others reflect the reality of a modern-day Colima, sadly stigmatized and eroded by violence perpetrated by the narcos.

In his introduction, preeminent Cuban poet José Kozer praises Pérez-Cortés: “Ima and Coli Are the Tree That Was Never a Seed comprises a voice that I consider poetic and that should be cared for and listened to with true interest. A voice that encompasses all, one that seeks to integrate, remake, and modify normative language when necessary, and to distort language that allows a better perception of the present and of everything that is historically behind a contemporary poet.”

The Paz Prize for Poetry is presented by the National Poetry Series and Miami Book Fair at Miami Dade College and is awarded biennially. Named in the spirit of the late Nobel Prize–winning poet Octavio Paz, it honors a previously unpublished book of poetry written originally in Spanish by an American resident.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Published: 12/7/21
  • IBSN: 9781617759819
  • e-IBSN: 9781617759895
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781636140704


ALEJANDRO PÉREZ-CORTÉS was born in Colima, Mexico. His poems and short stories have been published in various Mexican newspapers. Pérez-Cortés’s first English poems appeared in the anthology Soundings from the Salish Sea: A Pacific Northwest Poetry Anthology. He holds an MFA from New Mexico State University with an emphasis on Spanish-American literature, and currently teaches Spanish at North Creek High School in Washington State. Ima and Coli Are the Tree That Was Never a Seed is his latest work.

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