Contemporary Uruguayan Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology

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Ronald Haladyna
Bucknell University Press, 2010 - Literary Collections - 356 pages
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This volume is intended as an introduction of contemporary poetry by notable Uruguayan poets to the English-reading world, but also to readers of Spanish unfamiliar with them. The introduction provides a brief background on Uruguay for readers unfamiliar with the country. Each poet is represented by an ample and varied selection of poems originally published in Spanish, here with English translations on facing pages. The final chapter is devoted to a brief biographical sketch of each poet and an extensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources.

A number of these poets have had poems translated into other languages and included in national and international anthologies, and have received international recognition for their work, but they are still virtually unknown in English-speaking countries. Although some of Spanish America's most celebrated narrative writers of the past quarter century have garnered public, academic, and critical attention abroad, their poets have not. Part of this is due to a lack of orientation; a need to identify which poets of the hundreds currently writing are noteworthy.

The editor of this anthology addresses this literary omission by identifying seventeen Uruguayans deserving of recognition: Jorge Arbeleche, Nancy Bacelo, Washington Benavides, Mario Benedetti, Amanda Berenguer, Luis Bravo, Selva Casal, Rafael Courtoisie, Marosa Di Giorgio, Enrique Fierro, Alfredo Fressia, Saul Ibargoyen, Circe Maia, Jorge Meretta, Eduardo Milan, Alvaro Miranda, and Salvador Puig. The selection of these poets is based on extensive research and personal taste, but also because they have a recognized, sustained record of published books of poetry, especially during the 1990s; they have been favorably acknowledged for their work by peers and critics---through reviews and interviews in local news media; they have received recognition through national or international literary awards; and, for the most part, they are still active as poets in the new millennium. Furthermore, they comprise a representative cross section of diverse generations, perspectives, themes, and poetics extant in today's poetry in Uruguay.

Each of the poets is represented by a selection of original poems in Spanish to demonstrate the diversity of their expression and English translations to render them meaningful for both English and Spanish reading publics. The extensive bibliographies of primary and secondary sources of each poet is unprecedented; hopefully it will serve as a guide to encourage research on this neglected area of Spanish American literature. There is currently no canon of contemporary Uruguayan poets, but this project is intended to provide a meaningful step toward opening a discussion of such a canon.

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About the author (2010)

Ronald Haladyna became emeritus professor of Spanish in 2009 after twenty-five years in the classroom at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan. His experience in Latin America is varied and extensive: Peace Corps Volunteer (1967-69) in Cusco, Peru; professor of English at the Universidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico (Toluca, Mexico 1974-84); senior Fulbright lecturer and researcher in Asuncion, Paraguay (1997); and researcher with travel grants and sabbatical leaves in South America (1997-2008). Author of The Tourism Industry: Readings in English (1992), Rescatando la poesia paraguaya: Diez ensayos sobre nueve poetas (1998), La poesia postmoderna mexicana: Pedro Salvador Ale, David Huerta y Coral Bracho (1999), and co-translator of Renee Ferrer's Sobreviviente/Survivor (1999), he is currently preparing anthologies on other contemporary South American poetry.

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