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In Their Own Words

Poets and translators on their work.

Jake Skeets on “The Body a Bottle”

The poem began with a body and a bottle. It was late afternoon and I was driving back home from my summer residency at the Institute of American Indian Arts. The drive was several hours through high and valley desert, country road and freeway. During these long drives, I often find myself capturing certain images; quick flashes of scene on the side of the road.

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Kristin Dykstra on “in Beckett’s South-Eastern Railway Terminus,” by Reina María Rodríguez

Rodríguez won her second prestigious Casa de las Américas award for poetry with the 1998 collection in which this poem appears, La foto del invernadero (The Winter Garden Photograph). Based at her rooftop apartment overlooking a section of Havana, the writer flipped through pages of imagery from other places as she composed the poems.

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Kristin Dykstra on Amanda Berenguer’s “Avec les gemissements graves du Montevideen”

By the time Amanda Berenguer (b. 1921) passed away in 2010, she had created a startling range of poems. Her first complete collection appeared in 1940. The last was published in the year of her death.

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Jake Skeets on “The Body a Bottle”

The poem began with a body and a bottle. It was late afternoon and I was driving back home from my summer residency at the Institute of American Indian Arts. The drive was several hours through high and valley desert, country road and freeway. During these long drives, I often find myself capturing certain images; quick flashes of scene on the side of the road.

Continue Reading
NEW-GENERATION AFRICAN POETS: A CHAPBOOK BOX SET (SITA)

I am interested in the ways that the traditions of the past are being challenged and ignored and the ways that they are engaged by a sense that someone may have dropped the ball in the business of passing on a legacy of the poetic arts from one generation to the next. If, indeed, the contemporary society is wrestling between traditional culture and a new modernity, then what we desire are poets with the sensitivity, intelligence, boldness, and capacity for vulnerability to write within that moment.

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