Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Groundbreaking Spanish translations from Salt

Salt Publishing’s recent blog post draws our attention to its many recently published, never-before-translated poetry collections from Latin America, titles which encompass an eclectic crew of late twentieth-century poets:
  • Blue Coyote with Guitar, Juan Bañuelos (Mexican); trans. Katherine M. Hedeen & Víctor Rodríguez Núñez. “ ... creates an alternative poetics that rejects individualism, defies nationalism, and opts for the alterity of the most marginalized social subjects in modern Mexico, the Indigenous population, whose cultures increasingly determine this poetry’s vision of the world.”
  • Journal with No Subject, Juan Calzadilla (Venezuelan); trans. Katherine M. Hedeen & Víctor Rodríguez Núñez. “This poetry denounces the dehumanization of modernity, appropriates surrealistic language, questions identity and poetry itself, and dissolves the coherent, autonomous subject. Uniting political and aesthetic radicalism, Calzadilla ultimately reestablishes faith in poetry.”
  • Friday in Jerusalem and Other Poems, Marco Antonio Campos (Mexican); trans. not listed. “[I]n Campos’s poems ... morality is given priority over politics, feeling over reason, plain style over experimentation. In his case, a displacement from time history and biography toward space city and home is carried out, and poetry becomes chronicle.”
  • Reasons for Writing Poetry, Eduardo Chirinos (Peruvian); trans. G.J. Racz. “Chirinos’s poetry is marked by a wry tone and simple lyric eloquence. Accessible, ironic, and always entertaining, the poems in Reasons for Writing Poetry treat time and again Chirinos’s favourite subjects and themes: the return to childhood, the vagaries of memory, the alternative reality of dream, a fascination with animals, the utility of seeing and hearing, the writer’s place in poetic tradition, and the never-ending search for originality through innovative expression.”
  • The Poems of Sidney West, Juan Gelman (Argentinean); trans. Katherine M. Hedeen & Víctor Rodríguez Núñez. Presented in both Spanish and English. “This translation offers to English readers for the first time the splendid verse of imaginary American author Sidney West, created by Juan Gelman, one of the greatest living poets of the Hispanic world. These laments question Western assumptions surrounding death, erase boundaries between poetry and narrative, privilege the magical as a vital aspect of reality and seek the transformation of the lyric persona.”
  • The Bridges, Fayad Jamís (Cuban); trans. Katherine M. Hedeen & Víctor Rodríguez Núñez. Presented in both Spanish and English. “Jamís constructs a subject excluded from modernity who, once aware of his subordinate condition, becomes an agent of decolonization. His main task is nothing less than a conquest of the power of representation.... It is the result of an appropriation, the poet’s adaptation of the European avant-garde’s achievements to his own expressive needs. ... a poetry that is decolonizing in its content and decolonized in its form, by one of the great Cuban artists of the twentieth century.” 
  • The Trees, Eugenio Montejo (Venezuelan); trans. Peter Boyle. Presented in both Spanish and English. “Covering Montejo’s work from the 1960s to 2004[,] this major selection deals with universal themes of loss, death, family and love as well as reflecting on humanity’s relationship to nature in an ever more materialistic and urbanized world. Montejo’s poetry would be of special interest to all readers of poetry as well as to those interested in understanding a Latin American perspective on modernization and globalization.” 
  • Garden of Silica, Ida Vitale (Uruguayan); trans. Katherine M. Hedeen & Víctor Rodríguez Núñez. “Her work seeks a balance between subjectivity and objectivity, privileges intellectual capacity above that of sentimentality, and requires an active reader. Placing the intellectual subject at the forefront, Vitale's poetry offers one of the most provocative representations of women's subjectivity in the Spanish language.” 
- KA

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