An Introduction to Juan Pablo Mobili by Tiffany Troy

What a pleasure it is to introduce a folio of poems by Juan Pablo Mobili for Tupelo Quarterly. Mobili’s speaker has come from a country where “some pages condemned people/ to death, or a poem to undeserved oblivion.” He is a self-proclaimed fool who chose to be a poet, as he recognizes his “compulsion to apologize” in spite of his being wounded by the Argentinian dictatorship. Except Mobili’s speaker is not only an all-around improviser of home-blown balloons, but an interrogator of his inheritances and migration. His poems become a portal between the photograph of his cousin as “she/ held me in her arms in the old photograph” and the sight of her not “recall[ing] the way she nudged me to praise God, until she forgot who God was.” Through poetry, Mobili excavates the emotional bearings of being born in Buenos Aires and an adopted New Yorker, as he imagines the cicadas thinking of the abducted flower “choked with grief,” wondering, “Could we have/ warned it?/ Is it our fault?

Juan Pablo Mobili was born in Buenos Aires, and adopted by New York. His poems appeared in The American Journal of Poetry, The Worcester Review, Hanging Loose Press, Louisville Review, The Red Wheelbarrow Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, Louisville Review, and The Paterson Literary Review as well as international publications such as Impspired (UK), The Wild Word (Germany), Hong Kong Review (Hong Kong, SAR), Pasaje (Argentina), and Otoliths (Australia). His work received multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and his chapbook,  “Contraband,” was published in 2022. He’s also a Guest Editor for The Banyan Review.