Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I'm pretty sure I'm doing this on Friday

A Special Reading with Raul Zurita and Daniel Borzutzky
Friday, April 3, 2009 - 7:00pm

Time: Doors open at 7:00PM, Reading begins at 7:30PM.
Cost: Free admission, all ages.
Location: Instituto Cervantes, 31 West Ohio Street, Chicago

Raul Zurita was born in Santiago, Chile in 1951. He started out studying mathematics before turning to poetry. His early work is a ferocious response to Augusto Pinochet's 1973 military coup. Like many other Chileans, Zurita was arrested and tortured. When he was released, he helped to form a radical artistic group CADA, and he became renowned for his provocative and intensely physical public performances. In the early 80’s, Zurita famously sky-wrote passages from his poem, The New Life, over Manhattan and later (still during the reign of Pinochet) he bulldozed the phrase Ni Pena Ni Miedo (Without Pain Or Fear) into the Atacama Desert, where it can still be seen because children in the neighboring town bring shovels into the desert and turn over the sand in the letters. For fifteen years, Zurita worked on a trilogy which is considered one of the signal poetic achievements in Latin American poetry: Purgatory appeared in 1979, Ante-paradise in 1982, and The New Life in 1993. Raul Zurita is one of the most renowned contemporary Latin American poets, and he is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the National Poetry Prize of Chile. Translations of Purgatory and Anteparadise were published in the United States in the 80’s. Three new books, INRI, translated by William Rowe, Song of the Disappeared Love, translated by Daniel Borzutzky, and Purgatory, translated by Anna Deeny, are forthcoming from, respectively, Merick Press, Action Books, and The University of California Press. His books of poems include, among others: El Sermon de la Montana; Areas Verdes; Purgatorio; Anteparadiso; El Paraiso Esta Vacio – Canto a Su Amor, Desaparecido, El Amor de Chile, La Vida Nueva, In Memoriam

I heard DB read some of these translations last summer and they were fucking A-mazing. I've never been to a reading with both translator and translated before, though I always thought it would be cool to see one where they stand side by side and read the poem simultaneously (just like in the books). Zurita's been on my need to buy list for awhile, making clear the major design flaw in said list (it's in alphabetical order). This should be totally rad and I'm totally going.

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