Blood Sugar Canto by Ire’ne Lara Silva


“Being named the 2013 Fiction Genre Finalist for the Gift of Freedom Award validated me as a fiction writer and buoyed my belief that I could push forward with my projects and that they would find an audience.” Ire’ne Lara Silva


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Silva is a poet-curandera who “sings the body electric,” transforming suffering into song. She probes the ways that love, justice and forgiveness help heal our individual selves and our communities. I am profoundly grateful for ire’ne’s hard-won wisdom and poetic gifts.”—Demetria Martinez, author of The Block Captain’s Daughter

“I am stunned by ire’ne lara silva’s blood sugar canto, a searing and intensely personal and political collection of poems…The exhausted self, pricked by syringes, prodded by clinicians, fights fiercely to love and to decolonize the self, the changing body. These are poems of confronting traumas and of mourning. Ultimately, Silva’s poems are filled with important, hopeful and triumphant words; “you cannot live in fear / you cannot heal in fear / fear will never make you stronger … i will not / live / in fear / i will make song.” —Barbara Jane Reyes, author of Poeta en San Francisco and Diwata  

“Once again, Silva brings us a kind of soul-exploration unprecedented in American letters. A poet of gut-wrenching honesty and visceral language, here, Silva aims her pen at a subject that concerns us all—health. blood sugar canto is an ode to the needle-prick of the diabetic, a letter to the inheritances of hunger and habit, a “love-song” to our collective internal organs. The poet invites us to an intimate dinner at her table, to sit and eat with her, share stories of azucar, of labwork and grace, to indulge ourselves in the unspoken cravings, and we leave nourished, full, and stronger for it.”—Tim Z. Hernandez, author of Natural Takeover of Small Things


Saddle Road Press presents Ire’ne Lara Silva’s Blood Sugar Canto, a new book by the author of Flesh to Bone and Furia. Blood Sugar Canto is a powerful hymn to life and to her own body by a “curandera-poet” struggling to transmute the fear and despair of diabetes into healing. It is the only book of its kind, uniquely beautiful, original, and full of hope.  “In 2008,” Silva says, “I was diagnosed as an insulin-dependent diabetic. I wasn’t the first in my family. I had grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, and siblings with diabetes. It still came as a shock. There were a lot of adjustments and a lot of losses. It came to me that I should write about what my life was immersed in—issues concerning my health, my family’s health, diabetes in my community, the overriding desire to be seen as a person and not as an automaton by Western medical practioners, the vital connection between body and soul and heart when it came to healing, and my need to push back against the fear that dominated all conversations about diabetes and the body.”

Author: A Room of Her Own

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