Poem. Snapshot of the 2Xth Century
Translated from the Spanish by Anthony Seidman
Graphics by Daniel Godínez-Nivón
Intro by Alan Mills
SVR Avant-Garde Series
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“Luis Cardoza y Aragón knows that his own existence and his capacity to interpret exactly the reason for his current location justifies the celebration of this refulgent promenade through the future. He knows that he can bend poetry in his favor. He can be swift and expose the register of his stroll through Luna Park, capture the scenes, the snapshots which approximate verbal selfies contrasted against distinct backdrops, from his multiple encounters with Luciferian characters who inhabit the boiling of a world in exquisite gestation.” —ALAN MILLS
“We hear Cardoza defend poetry not as an activity in service of the revolution, but as the expression of perpetual human subversion. Cardoza was the bridge between the vanguard and the poets of my age. A bridge extending not between two shores, but between two opposing forces.” –OCTAVIO PAZ
“That conscience of speaking is a playful conscience, self-ironic, characteristic of a pleasurable and humorous exercise, celebratory and casual, pertaining to the language of the vanguard. It’s not an accident that the epigraphs come from Apollinaire and Laforgue and allude to the paradoxical flight of a bird with only one wing and to the infinite as a station for lost trains. The space of travel is—ever since his first chapbook—a metaphor for exile, for the movement that typifies new art.” –JULIO ORTEGA
“The Guatemalan supports his two initial books, Luna Park and Maelstrom, both published in Paris, on that effervescence that aims to establish Modernity by naming it after its most striking edges. It is in the eye of the hurricane, destructive and incarnate with their words of excitement for the new: the feverish rhythm, the kinetic visions, the cult of speed, cosmopolitanism, the touch of humor, the vertigo of big cities, the fraternity between things, carefree bohemia, the pleasure of experimenting and a preeminence for the Ultraist signature.” –JORGE BOCCANERA
“Luis Cardoza y Aragón is always a motive for homage.” –AUGUSTO MONTERROSO
Luis Cardoza y Aragón (Antigua, Guatemala, 1904) resided in Mexico for the majority of his life where he became famous and deeply influential as a poet, essayist, and art critic. Starting with his first collection of poetry, Luna Park (1924), and with later collections, such as Maelstrom (1926) and Quinta Estación (1930), the poet created a body of work that was uniquely his, yet also profoundly in touch with experimental poetry, Surrealism, and tendencies that prefigured the Neo-Baroque in Latin American verse. Cardoza y Aragón also published important books on politics and history, such as Guatemala, las líneas de su mano (1955), and a groundbreaking volume on Mexican painters entitled Pintura contemporánea de México (1974). In 1979, the Mexican nation awarded him with the Orden del Águila Azteca in recognition for his literary work completed while living in Mexico. Cardoza y Aragón died in Mexico City in 1992.
Anthony Seidman (Los Angeles, 1973) is a poet translator who resides in his native city after having spent years living in the northern border region of Mexico, in Ciudad Juárez. His most recent books are Confetti-Ash: Selected Poems of Salvador Novo (The Bitter Oleander, 2015) and A Sleepless Man Sits Up In Bed (Eyewear Publishing, 2016). He has published poetry, translations, and articles in the United States, France, England, Mexico, Nicaragua, Argentina, Romania, and Bangladesh, in such journals as Newsweek en español, Nimrod, The Black Herald, Bengal Lights, Poets & Writers, La jornada semanal, Ambit, Huizache, and Cardinal Points, among others.
Daniel Godínez-Nivón (Mexico City, 1985) studied Visual Arts at the National School of Fine Arts at UNAM and holds a Master’s degree from the same program. In 2011 he co-authored the book, Multiple Media 3. His individual work has been presented in the Tlatelolco Cultural Center of UNAM and his collaborative work has been presented in the installation Jardín de Academus: Laboratorios de arte y educación in the MUAC as well as the Museo Van Abbe in Holland in 2014. He was awarded the Becario del Programa Jóvenes Creadores during 2011 – 2012 from the Fondo Nacional de la Cultura y las Artes for the project Tequio_Rolas. In 2014 he studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Paris.
Alan Mills (Guatemala, 1979) is a poet and essayist. Some of his work has been translated into French, English, German, Portuguese, among other languages. His poetry has been included in the most important anthologies of contemporary Latin American poetry. A translation of his work in French, Sincopes, was published by Rouge Inside in 2010. His collection Pasan poesía en la televisión apagada was published in 2013 in Ecuador by Fondo de animal. A recent hybrid collection of his aphorisms, micro-stories, and micro-poems was published in Germany under the title of Eine Subkultur der Träume by Mikrotext in 2015. He resides in Berlin and Vienna while finishing a doctoral thesis on science fiction.