Reading January 8, 2021

Pedro Granados and I will be reading from Amerindios Friday, January 8, at 7:30 PM Eastern Standard Time, as part of the Jamaica Pond Poets series Chapter and Verse.


 Friday, January 8, 2021, 7:30 pm

Poetry in Spanish and Translations 

Pedro Granados, Lima, Perú, Ph.D. (Hispanic Languages and Literatures), Boston University. Poetry collections: Sin motivo aparente(1978), Juego de manos (1984), Vía expresa (1986), El muro de las memorias (1989), El fuego que no es el sol (1993), El corazón y la escritura (1996), Lo penúltimo (1998), Desde el más allá (2002), Poesía para teatro (2010), Poemas en hucha (2012), Activado (2014), Amerindios (2020), La mirada (2020) and Al filo del reglamento (2020).

Leslie Bary teaches Latin American literature and culture at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, centering on avant-garde poetics and representations of race, and is a prisoners’ rights activist outside class. Her translation of Oswald de Andrade’s “Manifesto antropófago” has become a classic; English versions of César Moro’s La Tortuga ecuestre and Pedro Granados’  Enredadera are forthcoming. Current writing includes “Border Trouble: Anzaldúa’s Margins” and “Field Notes on the Carceral State: From Death Row to ICE Detention in Louisiana.” 

Daisy Novoa Vásquez is a Chilean-Ecuadorian writer passionate about education, the arts, and intercultural understanding. She lives in Jamaica Plain and teaches at the Margarita Muñiz Academy. Daisy contributes to the Hispanic newspaper El Planeta and is the author of the poetry collection Fluir en Ausencia. Many of her writings have been published in print and online anthologies and literary magazines. Daisy was a writer in residence for the University of Massachusetts Boston and has participated in various literary festivals in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe.

Alan Smith Soto, a resident of Jamaica Plain and a member of the Jamaica Pond Poets, was born in San José, Costa Rica. He is the author of three books of poems, Fragmentos de alcancía (Treasure Jar Fragments) (Cambridge: Asaltoalcielo editores, 1998), Libro del lago (Pond poems), (Madrid, Árdora Ediciones, 2014) and Hasta que no haya luna (forthcoming Feb. 2021, Huerga y Fierro Editores, Madrid).His translation of Robert Creeley’s Life and Death (Vida y muerte) was published in 2000 (Madrid: Árdora Ediciones). 

Largely unknown today, Juana Borrero (May 17, 1877-March 9, 1896), one of Cuba’s early Modernist poets, delves deep into raw states of imagination, affliction, love, decay, and death, centering the subjective experience of the individual. She died of tuberculosis while in exile in Key West during Cuba’s war for independence at the age of 18.

Stephany Svorinić is a composer and vocalist. Her work has been premiered by the Radius Ensemble and International Contemporary Ensemble, and played on radio stations across the country. She obtained her undergraduate degree from NYU and a Master of Music in vocal performance at New Jersey City University. She graduated from the Longy School of Music in 2019 with a diploma in composition and is currently pursuing a master’s in composition at Tufts University.  Her Borrero project sets her translations of the poetry of 19th Century Cuban poet, Juana Borrero, to music.

Poetry by Pedro Granados

With Sasha Reiter and Isaac Goldemberg I translated recent work by Pedro Granados. The book is Amerindios, and it is available now.

This is one of the more successful translations, I think:

To see someone age
Like a style, like a song
Like a movie that at the exit
Left you remains of inspiration
Strength pride
Isn’t nearly what you’ll feel later
Before the head tilts down
And the breath subsides
And you don’t believe what you see
And even less what you’re doing:
Laying the body out
And joining hands that seem distant
While her heart still watches you.
Between time past
And the farthest future
Hanging on
Turn-sick amid what we are
And what our mother is
And her piston
And the carousel of her arms
To look
In distraction and suffering
Through what is mine all my own
Or in disquiet
At an open hand
A butterfly or hummingbird
Flutters around us and makes us laugh
I’m writing but not to you
It’s redundant
I’m repairing the umbilical cord
That’s broken
And buried
And to this I stick
Because it’s how things are going
And because I’ve come to old age
My dog all restless
Scrutinizes my head
Puts his ear to my gaze
Auscultates my tears
Calms down finally
Moves his tail softly
And vanishes like a lizard


Eminent Peruvian-American writer Isaac Goldemberg, poet Sasha Reiter and I have translated a book of poetry by Pedro Granados, forthcoming 2020 from Artepoética Press in New York. The volume includes work from two prior collections, Roxosol and Activado. I’ll be reading from it at the New Orleans Poetry Festival April 19.

Update: The Poetry Festival was postponed until 2021 due to the COVID-19 situation. I hope to see everyone then.

A course on García Lorca

This is the website in progress for my research course The Modernist Poetics of Federico García Lorca at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. We will read Poet in New York, Diván del Tamarit, Así que pasen cinco años, Play without a title and El público, and annotate some of his lectures and manifestos.

What are modernist poetics? What makes García Lorca a major European modernist? Who were his Spanish contemporaries? These are some of the questions our annotation project will help us answer.

Students who have not read El poema del cante jondo, Romancero gitano and the trilogy Yerma, Bodas de sangre, and La casa de Bernarda Alba may do so. Others may want to investigate the earliest poems or some additional theatre.

The image here is of the Presidio in Santa Barbara, California, my home town, where I first read Lorca. This course is generously funded by the UL Lafayette Undergraduate Research Council and the Friends of the Humanities.