Prepoems in PostSpanish
Prepoems in PostSpanish
Author: Jorgenrique Adoum
Translated by: Katherine M. Hedeen and Víctor Rodríguez Núñez
Pablo Neruda called Jorgenrique Adoum “the best Latin American poet of his generation,” and Pierre Seghers praised him as “a poet of the highest magnitude.” In spite of such accolades, this small book offers the very first glimpse of his poetry to readers of English.
This translation captures the astounding malleability of Adoum’s poetic language. Co-translators Katherine Hedeen and Víctor Rodríguez Núñez channel his playful fascination with the materiality of words and the excesses and shortfalls of speech.
Adoum’s singular style is inseparable from the profound social responsibility that he felt throughout his lifetime. His hyper- and anti-rhetorical lyric serves as a conscientious objection to norms and structures linguistic and social. Prepoems in PostSpanish is the language of Latin America’s frustrated modernity, and of the poem that is forever too early and too late.
About the Author & Translators
Jorgenrique Adoum (1926-2009) was a poet, novelist, essayist, and playwright. Of Lebanese descent, he was born in the Andean town of Ambato. As a young man he moved to Santiago de Chile and served as Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s personal secretary. Throughout his life he held important cultural posts both in his country and later abroad, as an exile. He published 14 books of poetry, and was hailed by Neruda as “the best poet of his generation in Latin America.” He was the winner of the first ever Casa de las Américas Prize in 1960 and shortlisted for the Cervantes Prize in 2005, among many other distinctions. Despite such accolades, his work is absolutely unknown in the English-speaking world.
Katherine M. Hedeen’s latest book-length translations include night badly written (Action Books) and tasks (coimpress) by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, and Nothing Out of This World (Smokestack Books), an anthology of contemporary Cuban poetry. She is the Poetry Translation Editor for the Kenyon Review and a two-time recipient of a NEA Translation Project Grant. She teaches Spanish and Literary Translation at Kenyon College.
Víctor Rodríguez Núñez (Havana 1955) is a poet, journalist, literary critic, translator, and scholar. He has published fifty books of poetry throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia, and his work has long been the recipient of major awards inthe Spanish-speaking world, most recently, Spain’s coveted Loewe Poetry Prize. He has brought out various critical editions, introductions, and essays on Spanish American poets. One of Cuba’s most outstanding contemporary writers, he divides his time between Gambier, Ohio, where he is Professor of Spanish at Kenyon College, and Havana.