¡Brindemos POETAS! ¡Por la POESÍA, salud!

Montevideo, URUGUAY. 2008

lunes, 2 de julio de 2012


Twenty Poets
from Argentina

Translated by Andrew Graham-Yooll *
Buenos Aires, 2003 / Redbeck Press, Bradford, England
This collection of poetry from Argentina is intended as a first volume in a series of South American poets in English translation. As with many personal ventures, this initial work owes its start more to chance than to serious planning.
The discussion as to why there was none did not last long but it prompted me to plan such an anthology.  After many years of friendship and occasional work with an acknowledged master of translation, Norman Thomas di Giovanni, who put into English a still unsurpassed version of the prose and poetry of Jorge Luis Borges (1899-86), I felt confident that I could translate the poetry of a varied group of poets:
Fabián Casas (Buenos Aires, 1965); Walter Cassara (Buenos Aires, 1971); Carolina Cazes (Buenos Aires, 1970); Washington Cucurto (Quilmes, 1973); Edgardo Dobry  (Rosario, 1962); Verónica Viola Fisher (Buenos Aires, 1974); Rodrigo Eduardo Galarza (Corrientes, 1972); Martín Gambarotta (Buenos Aires, 1968); Daniel García Helder (Rosario, 1961); Silvio Mattoni (Córdoba, 1969); Roxana Paez  (La Plata, 1962); Martín Prieto  (Rosario, 1961); Sergio Raimondi  (Bahía Blanca, 1968); Patricia Rodón  (Mendoza, 1961); Alejandro Rubio (Buenos Aires, 1967); Guillermo Saavedra  (Buenos Aires, 1960); Gabriela Saccone  (Rosario, 1961); Carlos Schilling  (Santa Fe/Córdoba, 1965);  Beatriz Vignoli  (Rosario, 1965); Laura Wittner  (Buenos Aires, 1967)  

One problem in the compilation and translation of a group of young(ish) poets is the risk that as they grow older they may lose their talent, abandon the genre, or be rejected or forgotten by readers. Obviously, I feel that the present selection is safe in that the twenty poets included here have a strong writing background, are still writing and publishing, and would appear to be determined to continue to do so. When the selection was started, it was decided that those to be translated would be aged forty or under (in the year 2000). But because the volume has taken three years to prepare, some of the poets are now well over that age.
There was not always full agreement between Samoilovich and me on whom to include. The guiding idea was to bring to notice in English the writing of a generation that came after Argentina’s last dictatorship. Apart from the arbitrary setting of an age limit, the poets to be included had to have at least one book published, and, by a whim of mine, had to be living in Argentina. Since then, at least three poets in the group have left Argentina to live abroad. Another aim, from the start, was to try to break out of Buenos Aires, and find good poets in the provinces, not always a simple task in a country where nearly fifty percent of the population lives in Greater Buenos Aires.  As it is, we have eight poets from the capital, followed by five from Rosario, Argentina’s third largest city.
There were people and styles that Daniel Samoilovich preferred and I disagreed with and by the same token he disliked some of my choices. But the end product reflects our agreements, and for his enthusiasm, as well as his wise reticence, I am also grateful. We have left out some good and promising poets in such a brief selection. This is inevitable when limits are set by printing costs and available funding. But we hope to return to them, and others, in editions planned for the future.
In the end, the reader will have to decide whether or not the choice is a good one and, if from it, a small window is opened on new writing in Argentina.

Andrew Graham-Yooll
Barracas, Buenos Aires, 2003.
* selected with Daniel Samoilovich, poeta y director de Diario de Poesía.