The New World Written Selected Poems Maria Baranda, Paul Hoover

The Margellos World Republic of Letters
Publication date:
12 Oct 2021
Yale University Press
272 pages: 197 x 127mm
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A lyrical collection of the finest poems by a leading Mexican poet, superbly translated for English readers

The poetry of María Baranda is a haunting homage to the natural world, transcendent in scope, attentive to the particular, and acutely attuned to the mystery of being. Absorbed by nature’s otherness, Baranda seeks to inhabit the voices of the wind, of wings, night, day, and perhaps most keenly, water. These lyrical verses turn repeatedly to the longings and griefs of embodiment: “What is that God / To be praised with all our sadness / If not love / Or at least the wonder / Of being a body full of blood,” Baranda asks.
Drawing on epics such as the Aeneid and Beowulf, the mystical verses of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and writers who engage the landscape of shore and sea, from Daniel Defoe to Dylan Thomas, this sweeping collection brings together the finest poems of one of today’s most powerful and innovative Mexican writers.

Award‑winning poet María Baranda is a major figure in contemporary Latin American literature. Paul Hoover is the author of O, and Green: New and Selected Poems and professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University.

“María Baranda is a masterful poet and one of Mexico’s strongest voices. Filled with surprise and intelligence, her work addresses the eternal questions.”—Jennifer Clement, President of PEN International and author of The Widow Basquiat

“These are magmatic, furiously imaginative poems refracting the delirious Baroque lucidity of poets such as Góngora and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and the restless vitality of the Americas. Language is their searing truth.”—Mónica de la Torre, Brooklyn College

“Rilke claimed that the mystery resides in the aura of a poem, in what it radiates around it without verbal formulation. I think it is this kind of mystery that is perceived in María Baranda’s poetry, made of glimpses, visions, sometimes clairvoyance, because she sees deeper and further than most of us.”—Fabienne Bradu, author of Antioneta

“María Baranda’s sequences spiral in the most marvelous ways. With each turn, her language dazzles, aches, leaps. With each turn, her language makes visible human mysteries that ripple through private and public histories. Her imagination is prodigious, earth-rich, and singular.”—Eduardo C. Corral, author of Slow Lightning