An award-winning collection from an acclaimed contemporary poet
“Valverde, one of the most accomplished young poets writing in Spanish today, grapples with the sorrow of aging, death, and lost love in language that both makes us feel the immediacy of pain and its transcendence through poetry.”—Anthony Geist, translator of Luis Hernández’s The School of Solitude: Collected Poems
“The translations are faithful but also artful, attending to both literal meaning and the multi-layered figurative language that gives Valverde’s work its rich texture and depth. His landscapes correspond to inner states of mind, his earthly journeys to inward ones.”—Carolyn Forché, author of What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance
Born in Granada, Spain, in 1980, Fernando Valverde is widely considered one of the top young poets writing in Spanish today. Valverde is a leading figure in a movement of contemporary poets known as the Poetry of Uncertainty, and he has received some of the most significant awards for poetry in Spanish. This bilingual edition of his book The Insistence of Harmintroduces English-language readers to some of his latest, most exciting work.
The Insistence of Harm is a series of poignant lyric poems that takes readers from India to the Balkans to Spain and to Latin America, exploring the nature of “harm” in its various guises—war, disease, heartbreak, suicide. The poems grapple with both the reality of loss and the distance that language imposes on it. The English translations by Allen Josephs and Laura Juliet Wood effectively capture both tone and content while attending to subtle nuances of the original Spanish, bringing a new and important voice to students of Spanish and poetry readers alike.
Fernando Valverde is visiting distinguished professor in the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese at the University of Virginia. He is the author of several books of poetry, including Eyes of the Pelican. Allen Josephs, University Research Professor in the Department of English at the University of West Florida, is cotranslator of Fernando Valverde’s Selected Poems. Laura Juliet Wood, poet and translator based in Pensacola, Florida, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, is the author of All Hands Lost.
A volume in the series Contemporary Spanish-Language Poetry in Translation, edited by Allen Josephs, funded by the University of West Florida
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