Echo of the Park

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9781732936317.jpg

Echo of the Park

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Romina Freschi’s Echo of the Park explores dualities of capture and flight. Held by power, routine, poison, cultivation, gravity’s many forms? Her language honors ecstatic break through, a feathered bird named Sor Juana, an interspecies heart, introspective focus, and passage to deep grief, and altogether punctuates turbulence with a rare calm. A philosophic poet, Freschi might appreciate that scientists consider nanotubes a “cage” or possible holder, yet nanostructures make the butterfly’s brilliant blue and Vantablack such an absorption.

Here, her movingly reduced-performance of nature’s offerings as speech somehow surpasses plastic litter, feces, sites of debased life. Yet everything repeats: “smashed against itself again and again ...” like a wave, an echo. Can “peace and ecstasy” help us soar even for a brief moment? Can a former site of political deaths become an Ecological Park? Read Romina Freschi’s poetry: like her work as a publisher, professor, and instigator of cultural conversation, it startles us with vulnerable yet durable language. Be a cloud. A shadow-casting amorphous volume in flight for a short time. Be an ant. A ghost.
— Deborah Meadows
Romina Freschi’s Echo of the Park is one long poem that lets the reader chose whether to wander through the pages or rush from one short line to the next as it moves from the mystical dream world of Sor Juana to fallen Eden of the present, from the contemporary to the eternal, from speech to silence, from the smell of fallen, rotting avocados to the scent of wet cement, as effortlessly as a small finch flits through the sky. In this fluid, masterful translation by Jeannine Pitas, Echo of the Park is a book to read in one sitting, then read again—slowly savoring each line.
— Jesse Lee Kercheval
The poems of Romina Freschi are a welcome addition to American poetry, where we have a tendency to be isolationist by default. This potent voice from Buenos Aires employs vivid imagery and fierce intellect and sprays candlelight into the cave of what it means to be human, lost between realms, where memory takes many
forms—an impossible road, a small basket, a chute we slide down—none of them satisfying. But Freschi’s poetry itself engages the mind and ear.
— Jeffrey McDaniel
Tracing the language of paradise, Romina Freschi’s Echo of the Park, in Jeannine Marie Pitas’ brilliant, searing translation, explores a paradise lost, one never-had, in which the poem traverses various registers of pastoral and urban life and asks the reader to ‘inhabit then/ imperfect terrain.’ Through negation—‘There is no nature / in the park’ — and accumulation alike, this book explores impermanence in its most entropic and lasting forms, leaving its mark on terrain that pushes through the literary and into its liminal outskirts, settling somewhere between ‘the dream and its scar.’
— Alexis Almeida

About the Author

Romina Freschi was born in 1974 in Buenos Aires, where she received her B.A. in Literature from the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Her publications include redondel (Siesta, 1998), Estremezcales (tsé tsé, 2000), Petróleo (Eloísa Latinoamericana, 2002), El-Pe-Yo (Paradiso, 2003), as well as the chapbooks Soleros (BAND, 1998), Incrustraciones en confite (Self-published, 1999), Villa Ventana (Arte Plegable, 2003), 3/3/3 (Proveedo- ra de Droga, 2005), Solaris (pájarosló editora, 2007), Variaciones de Órbita (pájarosló, 2010), Quien siem-pre gana es Poseidón (Tocadesata, 2011), Ejercicio Cósmico (Los poetas del 5 ed. Chile, 2011) and Eco del parque (Juana Ramirez, 2016). She has received a Fundación Antorchas grant, and in 2004 and 2006 she received grants from the Argentine government for her literary magazine Plebella. Her collaborative projects include the group Zapa-tos Rojos, the multispace Cabaret Voltaire, and the proj-ect Living de la Poesía. She is editor of the col-lection Arte Plegable and the independent publishing house pájarosló editora.

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About the Translator

Jeannine Marie Pitas is the author of three poetry chapbooks and the translator of several Uruguayan poets, including Marosa di Giorgio. Her first full-length poetry collection, Things Seen and Unseen, was published by Mosaic Press in 2019. She lives in Iowa and teaches at the University of Dubuque.