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Self-Portrait in the Zone of Silence (Paperback)
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An exciting new collection of poems by “one of the Spanish-speaking world’s greatest living writers” (LA Review of Books)
Self-Portrait in the Zone of Silence, by the renowned Mexican writer Homero Aridjis, is a brilliant collection of poems written in and for the new century. Aridjis seeks spiritual transformation through encounters with mythical animals, family ghosts, migrant workers, Mexico’s oppressed, female saints, other writers (such as Jorge Luis Borges and Philip Lamantia), and naked angels in the metro. We find tributes to Goya and Heraclitus, denunciations of drug traffickers and political figureheads, and unforgettable imaginary landscapes. As Aridjis himself writes: “a poem is like a door / we’ve never passed through...” And now past eighty, Aridjis reflects on the past and ponders the future. “Surrounded by light and the warbling of birds,” he writes, “I live in a state of poetry, because for me, being and making poetry are the same.”
About the Author
One of Latin America's foremost literary figures, Homero Aridjis was born in Contepec, Michoacán, Mexico. He has written fifty-one books of poetry and prose and won many important literary prizes. Formerly the Mexican Ambassador to Switzerland, the Netherlands, and UNESCO, he is the president emeritus of PEN International. He is founder and president of the Group of 100, an environmentalist association of writers, artists, and scientists.
George McWhirter is an Irish-Canadian writer, translator, editor, teacher and Vancouver's first Poet Laureate. He has translated works by Mario Arregui, Carlos Fuentes, and José Emilio Pacheco.
In his vast oeuvre, Aridjis has produced many works that confront apocalyptic times.
— Carlos Fonseca - LA Review of Books
Homero Aridjis’s poems open a door into the light.
— Seamus Heaney
Aridjis is a poet of great vitality and originality.
— W. S. Merwin
A great flame passes through the words, the poetry, of Homero Aridjis, who sets reality alight in images that at once illuminate and consume it, making life a sister of dream. Homero is a great poet; our century has great need of him.
— Yves Bonnefoy
Self-Portrait in the Zone of Silence, which includes selections from Aridjis’s four most recent collections, along with previously unpublished poetry, is a significant addition to an already important body of work.... The collection’s title poem will likely endure as one of the great gems that the now 82-year-old Aridjis produced in his late period. It’s simultaneously philosophical and surreal but nonetheless retains an intense sensuality and presence of being that anchors it in earthly realities.
— André Naffis-Sahely - The Poetry Foundation