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by Kyn Taniya

Wireless Poem in Thirteen Messages
& Uncollected Poems

Translated from the Spanish by David Shook
Graphics by Daniel Godínez-Nivón
SVR Avant-Garde Series

Poetry. Paperback
ISBN 978-0-990-66015-6
Bilingual edition


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This cult classic of the Mexican avant-garde was published for the first time in 1924 in Mexico City. Radio: Wireless Poem in Thirteen Messages travels through the poet's interior world and the rapidly evolving exterior world with equal ease. Radio moves like a Hertzian wave through a time of massive change and interruption. This edition also contains two poems not included in Kyn Taniya's other books, dedicated to the Mexican writer José Vasconcelos and to the Belarusian-Argentinian singer and actress Berta Singerman.

"This irony fills the poems with acid humor, and causes the solemnity usually associated with poetic language to fade away. In Radio, it works as a parody of the Latin American modernistas, in a humorous key." --Luis Alberto Arellano

The Mexican poet Kyn Taniya (A.K.A. Luis Quintanilla, 1900 - 1980) was born and grew up in Paris, where his father worked as a diplomat. His house was frequented by Tablada, Urbina, Apollinaire, Rodin, and his godfather, the Mexican poet Amado Nervo. He visited Mexico for the first time in 1918, and entered the foreign service in 1921, eventually serving as Mexico’s Ambassador to the Soviet Union. He began writing poetry in French, which he later translated into Spanish, as in the case of his first book, Airplane (1923). His second, Radio (1924), was his last, though he continued to write and teach as an important figure in Mexico’s estridentista avant-garde. That same year he founded the Mexican Theatre of the Bat, modeled after La Chauve-Souris, which he had seen in New York City.

David Shook is a poet and translator in Los Angeles, where he founded Phoneme Media, a nonprofit publishing house dedicated to showcasing new voices through the art of translation. His debut collection of poetry, Our Obsidian Tongues, was longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize in 2013. His translations include work by Mexican poets Tedi López Mills and Víctor Terán, who writes in Isthmus Zapotec, as well as the novellas of Mario Bellatin. In 2012 he served as Translator in Residence at the Poetry Parnassus in London, a festival organized as part of the cultural olympiad preceding the Olympics, which featured a poet from all 204 competing olympic nations. In addition to his work as a poet and publisher, Shook has made short literary films in Bangladesh, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Mexico, and other countries. He serves as contributing editor to World Literature Today, Ambit, and Bengal Lights, and has published his work in dozens of magazines, including Poetry and Oxford Magazine.

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.