A Sample of Colombian Poetry
The following authors, as heterogenous in their language as they are in their artistic missions, belong to various different regions of Colombia, and serve as evidence of the geographical variety over which poetry ranges, always pursuing new goals. The present selection, for this reason, is no more than a brief sample for LALT.
To speak of similarities among this group of poets must relate to the fact that they find in poetry their role, their home, and what unites them as Colombians; besides that, they cannot be grouped under any collective or avant-garde intention. There is no determined aesthetic, only the free use of a common language: Spanish. What’s more, the reader will notice the profound generational difference between the first and the last, another guarantee of a plurality that I consider fundamental. To categorize by generations or specific aesthetics is not only overambitious and restrictive; for me, it is also more arbitrary than choosing based on personal attachment, since, in the end, the motivation behind this sample is not the ungracious distinction between young poets and established poets, but rather their unification under the name “poets,” regardless of their age.
What follows is a work of words, manifested from diverse points of power, that names what passes through us and what contains us.
Camila Charry Noriega
Translated by Arthur Dixon
Camila Charry Noriega (Bogotá, Colombia, 1979) is a professor of Literary Studies and is working toward a degree in Aesthetics and Art History. She has published the books Detrás de la bruma (Común Presencia Editores); El día de hoy (Garcín Editores); Otros ojos (El Ángel Editor); and El sol y la carne (Ediciones Torremozas). She has received the Tomás Vargas Osorio Poetry Prize, 2016; second place in the Ciro Mendía poetry competition, 2012 and 2015; and the Casa de poesía Silva National Prize for Poetry in 2016. She has participated in various poetry conferences in Colombia, Latin America, and Europe. Some of her poems have been translated to English, French, Romanian, Polish, Portuguese, and Italian. She works as a professor of literature, reading, and critical writing with a focus on art and literature.
Arthur Dixon works as a translator and as Managing Editor of Latin American Literature Today. His translation of Andrés Felipe Solano’s “The Nameless Saints” (WLT, Sept. 2014) was nominated for a 2014 Pushcart Prize, and his most recent project is a book-length translation of Arturo Gutiérrez Plaza’s Cuidados intensivos (see WLT, Sept. 2016).
The fourth issue of LALT highlights underrepresented but deserving voices from across Latin America, with a focus on women writers as well as special sections dedicated to genre-bending science fiction, indigenous-language poetry and prose, and the essential relationship between author and translator.