Angel Escobar’s awareness of motion is one of the many elements that make his poems undeniably powerful. To me, as I translate his poems, there is no doubt that Escobar (1957-1997) created multivalent, energetic work, and that a quick reading of one or two poems at least hints at his range. Other writers, at the very least other poets, must recognize the surety of his movements.
Proto es principio y ‘previo,’ lo anterior al efecto, al typo, que es error y tejido, texto. Hacer protos es hacer poemas en proceso, el preámbulo de la conciencia que como robopoeta es cyborg. Crear prototipos es unir lo real con lo ideal, lo irreal con lo posible. En palabra y objeto poético, en texto y vértigo lírico. Todo y posibilidad.
It’s a pleasure to include a conversation with Jacqueline Loss in this commentary series. Over the years she has regularly attended readings in Havana and New York, and I'm never surprised to find that the poets with whom I connect have spent significant time talking with her in one or both cities. Perhaps this is why her projects in scholarship and translation so often turn out to be revealing, if sometimes in unexpected ways, for readers with an interest in poetry.
Katherine Hedeen has published translations and articles foregrounding a series of Latin American poets. Much of her work deals with Cuban writing. Recently, though, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded her a fellowship to translate writing by Jorgenrique Adoum, informing her that this was the first NEA grant ever dedicated to Ecuadorian poetry.
Does that poet speak any English? — The answer, with Omar Pérez, is yes. Quite a bit. In fact he has translated numerous writers from the English into Spanish (selections by Shakespeare, Komunyakaa and many more), as well as bringing some non-literary material into English from the Spanish for publication in Cuba. Well why doesn't he just translate his own poems?1