The New World Written

Selected Poems

Maria Baranda; Translated from the Spanish; Edited by Paul Hoover

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A lyrical collection of the finest poems by a leading Mexican poet, superbly translated for English readers

The poetry of María Baranda is a haunting homage to the natural world, transcendent in scope, attentive to the particular, and acutely attuned to the mystery of being. Absorbed by nature’s otherness, Baranda seeks to inhabit the voices of the wind, of wings, night, day, and perhaps most keenly, water. These lyrical verses turn repeatedly to the longings and griefs of embodiment: “What is that God / To be praised with all our sadness / If not love / Or at least the wonder / Of being a body full of blood,” Baranda asks.
Drawing on epics such as the Aeneid and Beowulf, the mystical verses of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and writers who engage the landscape of shore and sea, from Daniel Defoe to Dylan Thomas, this sweeping collection brings together the finest poems of one of today’s most powerful and innovative Mexican writers.

Award-winning poet María Baranda is a major figure in contemporary Latin American literature. Paul Hoover is the author of O, and Green: New and Selected Poems and professor of creative writing at San Francisco State University.

“María Baranda is a masterful poet and one of Mexico’s strongest voices. Filled with surprise and intelligence, her work addresses the eternal questions.”—Jennifer Clement, President of PEN International and author of The Widow Basquiat

“These are magmatic, furiously imaginative poems refracting the delirious Baroque lucidity of poets such as Góngora and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and the restless vitality of the Americas. Language is their searing truth.”—Mónica de la Torre, Brooklyn College

“Rilke claimed that the mystery resides in the aura of a poem, in what it radiates around it without verbal formulation. I think it is this kind of mystery that is perceived in María Baranda’s poetry, made of glimpses, visions, sometimes clairvoyance, because she sees deeper and further than most of us.”—Fabienne Bradu, author of Antioneta

“Mari´a Baranda’s sequences spiral in the most marvelous ways. With each turn, her language dazzles, aches, leaps. With each turn, her language makes visible human mysteries that ripple through private and public histories. Her imagination is prodigious, earth-rich, and singular.”—Eduardo C. Corral, author of Slow Lightning

“The book invites readers to follow Baranda over time, and in the voices of eleven different translators. Yet even amid this polyphony of translators, Baranda’s voice is distinct, marked by formal restraint. In Baranda’s poetry humans merge with the natural world . . . Oceans, skies, and insects are anthropomorphized, while human beings are defamiliarized, as if we were encountering the species for the first time. Baranda’s poetry consistently surfaces new connections between the words we use and the worlds we inhabit.”—Rebecca Ruth Gould, Harriet Books (website of the Poetry Foundation)

“A literary event . . . [Baranda’s] work provides a bestiary as fierce as those found in the Odyssey, Beowulf, or The Waste Land.”—Merrill Kaitz, Arts Fuse
ISBN: 9780300241242
Publication Date: June 22, 2021
272 pages, 5 x 7 3/4
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