Category Spanish

Claiming the Canon: Magda Portal’s “Hope and the Sea,” translated from Spanish by Kathleen Weaver

The appearance of this collection is a statement of intervention into the canon of Latin American poetry. Its contextual materials, which include Weaver’s description of meeting Magda Portal in Berkeley in 1981, attest to a long lineage of intentional stewardship of women’s poetics inspired by Portal’s own fierce advocacy, beginning with the book’s initial publication in 1927.

Subterranean Teenage Blues: Dolores Reyes’ “Eartheater,” Translated from Spanish by Julia Sanches

By Melanie Broder Forty-seven women were murdered in Argentina in the first two months of 2021, according to a report by Telám, the national news agency. That’s one femicide every 30 hours. An article by Reuters put the figure at 12 women per day across Latin America. While Latin America has the highest rates worldwide, […]

A Lesson in Resilience: Selva Casal’s “We Do Not Live in Vain,” Translated from Spanish by Jeannine Marie Pitas

By Gabriella Martin When we read a book—the particular, personal or historical context in which we carry out our reading—holds the power to shape the lens through which we do so. At present, we are reading in the midst of what for many has felt like a wasted year, burdened by missed opportunities, delayed gratification, […]

Zero Is a Lens to See: Karla Suárez’s “Havana Year Zero,” translated from Spanish by Christina MacSweeney

By Dorothy Potter Snyder I have learned that the lines we draw to contain the infinite end up excluding more than they enfold. I have learned that most things in life are better and more beautiful not linear but fractal. Love especially. – Maria Popova What’s the sum total of anything – food, gasoline, hope, or […]

The Entire Egg: Susana Thénon’s Ova Completa, translated from Spanish by Rebekah Smith

By Jeannine Marie Pitas “And time ah time that disjunctive / factor that almost runs out here / and therefore impedes us / from reaching the great why / and the superhow of this thing / almost holy / so tam tam almost holy / so almost almost / almost so holy,” states Argentine poet […]

Parallel Lines Can Converge: Víctor Rodríguez Núñez’s “from a red barn,” Translated from Spanish by Katherine M. Hedeen

By Conor Bracken Although from a red barn by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez and translated by Katherine M. Hedeen (co•im•press, 2020) was originally published in Spanish in 2014, it comes to an Anglophone public at an opportune time. Consisting of 77 sonnets, it immediately invites itself to the table that Terrance Hayes’s American Sonnets for My […]

What’s in a name? Claudia Hernández’s “Slash and Burn,” translated from Spanish by Julia Sanches

By Robin Munby “Maybe some of that night’s fear and fleeing had been passed on to the part of her that once gave her life” (274), the ex-guerrilla at the heart of Slash and Burn reflects, towards the end of the novel. She has returned to the place she fled to many years ago, when […]

Growing Pains in Tough Times: María José Ferrada’s “How to Order the Universe,” Translated from Spanish by Elizabeth Bryer

By Emma Jones This past year was a year of disappointment for many of us, but especially for children and adolescents who had their life plans dashed before their eyes. For some, higher education has been postponed, employment has proved difficult to find or keep, and the world seems like an altogether darker and unfriendlier […]

Art and Politics: María Negroni’s “The Annunciation,” translated by Michelle Gil-Montero

In this deeply philosophical, semi-autobiographical novel, acclaimed Argentine poet Negroni explores a question that has figured in her writing for decades: the relationship between the aesthetic and the ethical, the poetic and the political.

Nostalgia as Oblivion in Nelson Simòn’s “Itinerary of Forgetting,” Translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel

By Cal Paule It’s funny, but I forgot where I left my copy of this book. It’s lost for now, but luckily I have a pdf version. If, though, it were the memory of the exact color of my mother’s hair, or the angles of a roofline above my hometown, I might not be as […]

On Gender, Pseudonyms, and Authorship: Eloy Tizón, “The Names” and Greta Alonso, “A Shield, a Shelter, a Place to Hide,” Translated by Dorothy Potter Snyder

The essays that follow were written by Spanish writers Eloy Tizón and Greta Alonso in response to a question put to them by El Cultural: “Women writers past and present: Is publishing under a pseudonym necessary anymore, or is it just another marketing tool?” I found great beauty and insight in their responses and so […]

Foreign Bodies: Margarita García Robayo’s “Holiday Heart,” translated from Spanish by Charlotte Coombe

The uncomfortable, ailing human body is foregrounded in this thematically dense novel, a fable about problematic motherhood and the hard labor of forging epistemological change in the 21st century.

Live on August 31, 2020: Special Issue on Elena Ferrante’s New Novel “The Lying Life of Adults,” Translated by Ann Goldstein

Elena Ferrante and the Question of Gender, Pseudonyms, and Authorship

Anna Karenina, Recomposed: Carmen Boullosa’s “The Book of Anna,” translated from Spanish by Samantha Schnee

The Book of Anna hinges on a paradoxical fantasy: rescuing Anna Karenina from Tolstoy.

On Sex and Death: Vicente Huidobro’s “Skyquake: Tremor of Heaven,” co-translated from Spanish by Ignacio Infante and Michael Leong

Composed as twin originals in Spanish and French between 1928 and 1931, this roving long prose poem witnesses the perpetual, agonized yearning of separated lovers seeking one another across eternity and infinity, where they collide—gloriously—on occasion, before scattering through the universe once again.