From Cantos de amor al lucero de la mañana


Mapuche poet Adriana Paredes Pinda.

Blow to me
a song simple and lasting
a song incorruptible
a song untouched
a song
unsuccumbing before the unstoppable passing of all things

–famo  ñi  lawen  mo–

A song sprouting from the milk of Mapunzugun
that’s what I would like
if I were born again
the Küpalme milk
the llanka lawen milk
the feñfeñko milk
the contra lawen milk
the knife milk
the winkül milk
the milk of all things
the thirst of breath for naming
dreamed-of greed
from the throat with whip and alfitxa

only the milk that sweetens the poison
of all the tears
of all the shames of all the scorns

that chesungun milk
chacay latue chaura milk
kuñifal milk
of a thousand  knots of battles never lost

if that warm milk
thread by thread
possessed me
nursed me one day

if you came back to ask if I would be born again in Mapunzugun
if you came back

Could I spin the nest where the birds go to light the fire?
Could I knead the mud where the black mint smells of the firstborn?
Would I be sated ñi Wünelfe?
You tell me

May not only the tongue speak Mapunzugun
may the body be Mapunzugun
may the feet be Mapunzugun
may the sweat be Mapunzugun
may your bones be Mapunzugun
may your pewma dream Mapunzugun

May the wild dance of the days 
be Mapunzugun
the bittersweet matter that dances in all beings
be Mapunzugun
may the gasping
the vomit
the useless, smug sarcasm of the centuries
become Mapunzugun
those dark, cold slopes that pant like wounded snakes
when night falls
the memory of   secret transgression and fragrant delirium

Mapunzugun pounding
the burning
heart of a ram
thrashing   in the tender desperation of surrender

From the unpublished book Cantos de amor al lucero de la mañana [Love songs to the morning star]

Curated and selected by Paula Miranda and Andrea Vargas

Translated by Arthur Dixon


LALT Number 9
Number 9

Latin American Literature Today begins its third year of publication with an issue that takes in Venezuelan poetry, the writing of indigenous women, and the strange worlds of fiction. We open the journal's second volume with a dossier dedicated to Samanta Schweblin, an Argentine writer whose work tests the limits between the fantastic and the real, and then we shift to the poetry of Venezuelan poet Rafael Cadenas, winner of the 2018 Premio Reina Sofía de Poesía Iberoamericana. We also pause over Mapuche poetry, with a special selection of four young women poets who write in Mapuzungun and in Spanish, and we also stay up to date with the present debates surrounding one of the central figures of twentieth-century Latin American literature, Pablo Neruda, with an exclusive interview of his biographer Mark Eisner.

Table of Contents

Editor's Note

Featured Author: Samanta Schweblin

Dossier: Chicanx Literature

Indigenous Literature






Translation Previews and New Releases

Nota Bene