La Sirena: A Novella in Verse
Maurya Simon

Published by Cloudbank Books in 2024, La Sirena was a finalist for the Vern Rutsala Book Prize in 2023. “The beauty of Maurya Simon’s new book, with its lush textures and depths of language, is like an immersion in myth made fact.”   —Mark Jarman, author of Zeno’s Eternity

More Praise for La Sirena

“Simon has gifted us with a truly fresh take on mermaid myths, drawn from across cultures, hybridizing and unifying them into a vivid tale for our time. The poems spin a beautifully imagined story, rich in particulars, that explores otherness, the allure of the sea, female power, the body, love, eroticism, destiny, family, language, voice and voicelessness with a luscious grace. Simon’s mermaid has real strength and agency! She owns a harpoon! As we follow her coming of age, ecstasies, sufferings, and transformations, we dive deep into a timeless archetype that’s magical, redemptive, and replete with spiritual meaning.”  
—Amy Gerstler, author of Index of Women 

“Wherever we grow up is a mythic place. If that place is beside the Pacific Ocean, among sandy little beach towns, it is numinous and profound in memory. Growing up there, the speaker of these poems knew herself and her sister to be magical sea creatures: mermaids. Much here confirms that fantasy, much reminds us they were simply human children, lucky to be in a place where they could dream.”
—Mark Jarman, author of Zeno’s Eternity

“Maurya Simon’s La Sirena: A Novella in Verse is more than a fanciful tour-de-force. It re-imagines the ethos of Southern California and the blithe companionship of two teen sisters in a lathering foam of magical realism, transporting the mundane into the chimeric, the everyday into whimsical sublimity. It is not only a joy to read, but the gift of a literary journey as though upon a green float of speckled glass, riding waves that comb the shore of the nearly real into a gentle harbor of charm.”
—Garrett Hongo, author of Coral Road

About Maurya Simon

Maurya Simon’s previous volume of poetry, The Wilderness: New and Selected Poems, was awarded the 2019 Gold Medal in Poetry from the Independent Booksellers Association. Her poems, essays, and reviews have been published in an array of literary journals and have been included in several national multimedia exhibits and performances.  She lives in Mount Baldy, California. La Sirena: A Novella in Verse is 96 pages and available in hard cover. 

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