Born and raised in Mexico, where he studied Latin-American Literature in the Autonomous University of the Yucatán, Manuel has written most of his published work after arriving to the United States in 2006.
Iris received the “Merida” National award of poetry (Mexico, 2009) for his book Notebook of Dreams (Cuaderno de los sueños). According to professors Alejandro Higashi and Ignacio Ballester, this book (among a list of other) is necessary to understand current Mexican poetry.
His next book, The Disguises of Fire (Los disfraces del fuego) obtained the Rodulfo Figueroa Regional award of poetry in Mexico (2014), and was a finalist of the prestigious Latin-American award for published books “Ciudad de la lira” in Cuenca, Ecuador.
Between 2016 and 2018 three different anthologies of his poetic work were published: The naked light, in Venezuela; Before the mystery, in El Salvador, and Traducir el silencio/Translating silence, in New York. This book received the second place award for best book of poems, and an honorary mention as best translation in the International Latino Book Awards in Los Angeles, California, in 2018.
According to the Colombian Poet Armando Romero: The poetry of Manuel Iris seeks to infuse words with mystery, to strip them naked in order to hide their transparency, so they can give us a truth beyond the visible.
In the words of the Appalachian poet Jesse Graves: Iris translates the silence of some of our most powerful feelings, of love, of homesickness, of lost time, and renders it into odes that celebrate the richness of those very same experiences. Like the transparent birds that take wing in these poems, Manuel Iris is a poet who transports his reader so subtly she hardly realizes she has been moved, yet finds utter delight in her new surroundings.
Iris has published poetry, essay and translation in magazines and literary journals from Mexico, Spain, Chile, Cuba, Colombia, Portugal, France, the United States, and Angola. His poetry has been included in several national and international poetry anthologies. He has also given talks, lectures and poetry readings in literary events, academic conferences and cultural centers of Mexico, the United States and Europe.
Manuel Iris holds a BA in Latin American Literature from the Autonomous University of the Yucatán (Mexico), a MA in Spanish from the New Mexico State University, and a PhD in Romance Languages from the University of Cincinnati, the city in which he lives.
- Cincinnati, Historia personal. Ediciones Cuadrivio. Mexico DF, Mexico. 2019
- Translating Silence/Traducir el silencio. Artepoética Press. New York, New York. USA. 2018
- 30 piu 30. Illustrations by Daniele Nitti Sostres. Curators: Alessandro Saveli and Dermis P Leon. Bice Bugatti Club. Nova Milanesa (Milan), Italy. 2017
- La luz desnuda [The naked light] Ediciones del movimiento poético de Maracaibo. Maracaibo, Venezuela. 2016
- Frente al misterio. [Before the mystery] Ediciones la fragua. San Salvador, El Salvador. 2016
- Los disfraces del fuego. [The disguises of fire] Ediciones Atrasalante. Monterrey, NL, Mexico. 2015
- Overnight Medley (Coauthored with the poet Floriano Martins). ARÇ, Edições. Fortaleza, Brasil. 2014
- Cuaderno de los sueños. [Notebook of Dreams] Fondo Editorial Tierra Adentro. Mexico City, Mexico. 2009
Honors and awards
- Guest poet reading at the Library of Congress, in Washington DC, as part of the Maraton de poesía organized by the poet and scholar Rei Berroa.
- Mention of Honor as Best Translation and Second Place as Best book of poems for the International Latino Book Award for the Book “Traducir el silencio/Translating silence”
- Named Poet Laureate of the City of Cincinnati
- Finalist for the International Award of poetry “Ciudad de la lira” in the city of Cuenca, Ecuador, with the book “The disguises of fire”.
- “The disguises of fire” considered one of the best poetry books published in Mexico in 2015 by the News Paper “El norte” in Monterrey, Mexico.
- Regional Award of Poetry Rodulfo Figueroa for the book “The disguises of fire. Mexico.
- National Award of poetry Mérida. México for the book “Notebook of dreams”.
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