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ASYMMETRIES - Anthology of Peruvian Poetry

Asymmetries offers a panorama of Peruvian poetry, collecting the work of 16 authors from the second half of the twentieth century. The anthology includes a diversity of voices that visit lyricist, surrealist, colloquial, and Neo-Baroque landscapes.

Poetry. Paperback
Bilingual edition
306 pages
ISBN 978-0-9906601-0-1

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Jorge Eduardo Eielson, Blanca Varela, Carlos Germán Belli,  Pablo Guevara, Rodolfo Hinostroza, Antonio Cisneros, Juan Ojeda, Luis Hernández, José Watanabe, Juan Ramírez Ruiz, Enrique Verástegui, Mario Montalbetti, Miguel Ángel Zapata, Roger Santiváñez, Eduardo Chirinos and Mariela Dreyfus.



Joseph Mulligan, E. M. O’Connor, Rose Shapiro, Zachary Payne, Maureen Ahern, William Rowe, David Tipton, Clare Sullivan, Brandon Holmquest, Loren Goodman, Anthony Seidman, Maggie Messerschmidt, C. A. de Lomellini, Steven F. White, Suzanne Jill Levine, Elsa Costa, and G. J. Racz.


Contemporary Peruvian poetry, and particularly the period of the founders (José María Eguren, César Vallejo, César Moro, Emilio Adolfo Westphalen, Martín Adán, Carlos Oquendo de Amat), is recognized canonically; later come various stages that the specialized critic has divided by generations: the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. However, our approach omits the category of “generation” and proposes, in a sequential manner, a reading of its fluxes, variables, and constants. From another perspective, Antonio Cornejo Polar prefers to call Peruvian literature a polysystem composed of literature “illustrated” in Spanish, the popular literature in Spanish, and indigenous literature (Cornejo Polar: 1989).

We have chosen the period of the 40s as a starting point to guide our timeframe. That is, we consider the post-vanguardist period the lapse that goes from the 40s onward. Moreover, not assuming the category of “generation” permits us to give more weight to the systems of Peruvian contemporary poetry: 1) the system of lyricism, language of irrational and surrealist images; 2) the system of poetry written in indigenous languages; 3) the colloquial system; 4) the system of concretism and post-concretism and 5) the Neo-Baroque system. (Excerpt from Lights over Peru. Prologue by Paul Guillén. ASYMMETRIES. Anthology of Peruvian Poetry).

Not One: Asymmetries. Anthology of Peruvian Poetry. Reviewed by Charlotte Whittle in Reading in Translation Magazine.
Asymmetries. Anthology of Peruvian Poetry. Reviewed by Enrique Bernales in ViceVersa Magazine.