“[CATCH A GLOW is] my response piece toward Hurricane Maria and a phenomenon that was happening in America in particular with Puerto Ricans on the mainland,” said writer, actor, and director Karl Michael Iglesias. “It was just very hopeless … that early feeling of hopelessness, that I decided to combat.”
Iglesias will soon be releasing his new book of poetry, “CATCH A GLOW,” a chapbook, which uses a mixture of repossessed language from newspaper articles and adapts survivor profiles, turning the prose into poetry.
Iglesias also speaks to the frustration around President Trump’s own monopolization of the media during the turmoil of Hurricane Maria.
“There was just a very strong distaste in my mouth for the level of kind of disrespect and media rousing that came around Hurricane Maria,” he said. “One of [Trump’s] earlier moments in his presidency in which he was not a fan of numbers and not a fan of the truth behind the numbers and how they made him look.”
“CATCH A GLOW” also analyzes the relationship between journalists and artists.
“I found myself – and I think a lot of the [Peuto Rican] diaspora found themselves – leaning on everything that the news said and waiting for a response because it was the first time, since the Internet age, really, where we were cut off from the island,” Iglesias said.
“I feel like [my book] tells the story about Puerto Rico, but also this relationship that artists of all kinds [have] always had but I think more so leaning in the sense of allyship towards journalists and seeing the heroes in journalism, and how they’re collaborating,” Iglesias added. “Whether it’s like through comedy and journalism or in this case poetry and journalism but we’re on the same team most of the time”
Iglesias always knew he would someday be writing a book, however, it was the devastation of Hurricane Maria that prompted him to write “CATCH A GLOW”.
“It was me knowing that this was an urgent moment, and at the time it wasn’t getting quite the focus that I needed, and I what I decided was I would put that energy and that focus in this moment and in those pieces and in this work. And whenever it would see the light, it would tell that story,” said Iglesias.
Beyond poetry, Iglesias is also an actor and a director and is currently writing a play for Cristo Ray Jesuit High School in Milwaukee.
“It takes place in Milwaukee and it was written for Southside kids, who are predominantly Latino in Milwaukee,” explained Iglesias. “…I’ve been blessed to still be doing theater, even though the directing part of the actual live and being-in-person part has kind of dwindled.”
“CATCH A GLOW” is now available for pre-order until December 11th.