by Juan Gelman, translated by Lisa Rose Bradford

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"This is a fascinating translation project! Gelman, himself an exile, chose to collaborate solely with other poets of exile, using the clay of their texts to sculpt his own statements of loss, a re-creative process engagingly explicated by Bradford in her excellent introduction."

Carolyn Tipton, National Translation Award winner
for her translation of To Painting: Poems by Rafael Alberti.

Juan Gelman is one of the most celebrated poets writing in the Spanish language. Between 1956 and 2009, he published more than twenty books of poetry. His many awards include the National Poetry Prize (Argentina, 1997), the Juan Rulfo Prize in Latin American and Caribbean Literature (Mexico, 2000), the Pablo Neruda Prize (Chile, 2005), the Queen Sofia Prize in Ibero-American Poetry (Spain, 2005), and the most prestigious Spanish-language literary award, the Cervantes Prize in 2007. Having worked as a journalist and a translator in Argentina, Spain, France, and Italy, Gelman is presently living in Mexico City.

Lisa Rose Bradford, the translator of Carta abierta, was born in Dayton, Ohio and presently teaches Comparative Literature at the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata and raises horses and cattle in Madariaga, Argentina. Her doctoral work was completed at the University of California at Berkeley, and since then she has edited two compendiums on translation and cultural studies, Traducción como cultura, La cultura de los géneros, and two U.S. poetry anthologies in Spanish: Los pájaros, por la nieve (RIL, Chile, forthcoming) and Usos de la imaginación: poetas latin@s en EE.UU (EUDEM, Argentina). Her poems and translations have appeared in various magazines and journals.

Support for the Translation:

Coimbra Editions wishes to acknowledge that Com/positions was financially supported and published within the framework of the Programma Sur Translation Support Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Religion of the Argentine Republic.


by Gerard Sarnat 

Gerry Sarnat’s Disputes is remarkable for its ear for, and appreciation of, the American  idiom that William Carlos Williams called for. And faintly now and then, I hear something in the background as true as ham and eggs echoing the great and forgotten Carl Sandburg. These poems have the grit and detail that brands them as authentic, a simplicity combined with verbal flourishes that make them unique. Sarnat’s ear for language and the music of the every day is amplified by his concern for the lives of others. He is an empathetic hipster whose poems are embedded with wit, compassion, and a jazzy intellect. Poetics, Religion, Class, and the ravages of age are all grist for this mill. Here is a poet at home in the 21st century, dealing with  the mad mix of experience as it rushes at each one of us with his cargo of irony.

Christopher Buckley, White Shirt
is his latest collection of poetry


A Boy's Dream
by Wynn Yarbrough

In a great tradition marked out by poets like James Wright, James Dickey, and Charles Wright, there’s a fine mystification percolating in these vividly observant poems, arising among the mythic energies of family, of men and women, of the road, and of the hugeness that can’t be spoken. There are real hammers and rivers, and admirable metamorphoses insistently emerging into light, monsters of heartfelt delicacy. Wynn Yarbrough’s imagination is here on display and on trial, a mature intellect with the power of a creature newly born to cast a spell.

Jerry McGuire, author of Vulgar Exhibitions (Eastern Washington
University Press) and The Flagpole Dance (Lynx House Press) 

Wynn Yarbrough brings together a deep awareness of nature, in the tradition of Dickey, with a contemporary romanticism, at times reminiscent of Ginsberg. His poems invite a reader to connect with archetypal energies, timelessness, a universality of experience.

—John Amen, editor of The Pedestal Magazine;
author of More of Me Disappears


Alchemy of the Word: Writers Talk About Writing 
edited by Nicola Morris and Aimee Liu

Alchemy of the Word: Writers Talk About Writing is a book like no other, from a writing program like no other. In this remarkable collection of essays, twenty-five acclaimed novelists, poets, playwrights, memoirists, cross-genre and nonfiction writers engage the reader in a virtual literary conversation, filled with passion, insight, wit, and warmth.

"Whether you’re a young beginner or a veteran writer like me, you’ll get support from reading Alchemy of the Word. These authors’ thoughts are mystical and practical, political and inspiring and funny. I’ve found companions on this lonely journey."

—Maxine Hong Kingston, National Book Award Winner
and author of China Men, The Woman Warrior, and Tripmaster Monkey

"Alchemy of the Word is a smart, exhilarating collection—a true literary conversation, filled with wit, heart, and insight. Every writer with the ambition to create meaningful work will treasure this book. As one author says, ‘Welcome to the club. Remember to pay your dues.’ "

—Kim Addonizio, author of What Is This Thing Called Love,
Lucifer at the Starlite, and Tell Me, a finalist for the National Book Award


Rahna Reiko Rizzuto reads Paul Selig's essay
from Alchemy of the Word


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