Kañaris Quechua Poet Edwin Lucero Rinza


By and about Edwin Lucero Rinza in LALT No. 12:


"Runapa Ñawin: Quechua Poetry for the Present" by Walther Maradiegue

Poetry is an experience of language designed to think-feel the present, a philosophy built to introduce us to the world. Edwin Lucero Rinza writes Quechua poetry in order to think-feel Quechua culture, to make philosophy of the many worlds that exist within it. When I first heard of Edwin and his poetic work, there were two details in particular that drew my attention: the fact that his was the first verse collection written entirely in Northern Quechua, and the fact that his book offered no translations from Quechua to Spanish. At first, these decisions led me to feel concern for the commercial success of Lucero Rinza’s book: even poetry books written in Spanish are hard to sell in Peru, so my expectations for a book written exclusively in Quechua were less than optimistic.



Four Poems by Edwin Lucero Rinza

While the flames lick your chest
While the waves torture your strength
My nation attacks your faith
My nation injures your freedom
And you invent nothing
No angers
No hatreds
Much less
A legion of mockeries
Your motherly love
Does not lose faith
Does not lose love



“I decided to cultivate that hidden voice to make the unknown voices of the Kañaris present in literature”: An Interview with Edwin Lucero Rinza by Walther Maradiegue

I was inspired to write by nonexistence, by a deep emptiness I saw in Quechua literature: the thought-feeling of the Kañaris, as a people with a living voice. I felt that, faced with literature, we were like a nation without expression, like a talkative mute, or like a deaf man who hears, a dead man who cries out for freedom. I saw that a Quechua nation cried out in silence, with hidden joy. So I decided to cultivate that hidden voice to make the unknown voices of the Kañaris present in literature, and to make them known as Quechua-speakers with their own culture.



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