viernes, 10 de junio de 2011

An Introduction to Ecuadorian Poetry

[Del libro de poesía ecuatoriana traducida al inglés, publicado en EEUU: "Tapestry of the Sun"]

An Introduction to Ecuadorian Poetry

This is an anthology of some of the most important and diverse poets of Ecuador. Most of these voices come from the rich and largely ignored culture of Guayaquil, the country’s largest city. The texts chosen reflect varied personal views shaped by global and national events, as well as inevitable literary influences from Europe and the United States. Focusing on poetry of the last half century, our selection tries to present a wide range of styles, voices, themes, and gender issues.

Carlos E. Jaramillo, David Ledesma, and Fernando Cazón belong to the so-called Generación Madrugada (Generation of the Dawn) and Generación Huracanada (The Wrecked Generation) of the late fifties and the sixties. The poets of these groups were united in revolt against governmental violence, repression and established social injustice, both domestic and worldwide. During the seventies, the decade of the last Ecuadorian military dictatorship, Agustín Vulgarín, Antonio Preciado, Sonia Manzano, Fernando Nieto, Hernán Zúñiga (best known as a painter), and Hipólito Alvarado were actively involved in developing and experimenting with new forms of poetry. The voice of the poor, represented through the use of urban colloquial language, principally that of Guayaquil, was a special concern of the group Sicoseo, with Fernando Nieto as its mentor and leading adherent. The poetry of Fernando Balseca (also a member of Sicoseo), Maritza Cino, Eduardo Morán, Roy Sigüenza, and Edwin Madrid belongs to the eighties. These poets were highly influenced by their Ecuadorian predecessors, but also by new events of their times:  the return of democracy to Ecuador, the end of national and international communist aspirations, and the impact of post-modern culture. The last selected poets, whose work has only appeared in recent years, are Ana Minga, Augusto Rodríguez, Carolina Patiño, and Siomara España. They have been actively involved in public literary events and exchanges with poets from other countries, and are among the most innovative voices of their groups (Buseta de papel, Reverso), making extensive use of blog-writing and integration of poetry with the visual arts.
This anthology is a first attempt to make Ecuadorian poets of recent times available to the American public. Our goal is to stimulate interest in Ecuadorian literature and culture, while suggesting the need for further and more inclusive translations of work from the rich culture that has remained, until now, almost invisible to the non-Hispanic reader.

This book, which we consider a point of departure, started in a classroom setting. The intricacies exposed by the process of translating these poems were indicative of the complexities of moving from one culture to another, from the past to the present, from one linguistic register to another. Students began with an unsophisticated sense of the task before them. They tended to assume that the denotative value of a word was sufficient, even for the translation of poetry. They tended to accept the dictionary as their final authority. They often were unaware how cultural contexts contribute to the tone and the feel of poetic language. But together we all learned. And we must thank all the participants for their enthusiasm and perseverance:  our colleage Carolina Ibañez-Murphy and our students Viviana Gómez, Jana Fitzpatrick, Kristine Gagnier, Perliter Walter, Melissa Luciano, Melissa García, Kathryn Fish, María Elena Rafalko, Bebbete López, Ashley Cousens, Brandon Cruz, Joselyn Rivera, Joshua Nolin, Christina Palmieri, Lourdes Santos, and Jennifer Pettis.

To bring this book to its final form, we first reworked all the earlier translations in Plattsburgh. Then we went to Ecuador to revise our work with as many of the original poets as possible. Under the auspices of CEN (Centro Ecuatoriano Norteamericano de Guayaquil), we re-examined our efforts with Fernando Caźon Carlos E. Jaramillo, Hipolito Alvarado, Sonia Manzano, Hernán Zúñiga, Maritza Cino, Eduardo Moran, Fernando Balseca, and Augusto Rodríguez. Alexis then went to Quito to collaborate with Edwin Madrid on revisions of his poems. The following year, again supported by CEN, Alexis again returned to work with two additional young poets, Siomara España and Ana Minga. Translations of the poetry of the collection’s youngest contributor, Carolina Patiño, who had committed suicide the year before, were carefully revised with her fellow poet and founder of Buseta de paper, Augusto Rodríguez. Then the entire text was given a final revision by the two of us in Plattsburgh.

Both of us are dedicated to making the rich diversity of Ecuadorian poetry better known to English language readers. We are intending to follow this volume with other collections focusing mainly on younger contemporary poets. We hope that this book is but a first step towards a growing literary and cultural collaboration between our two countries.

Fernando Iturburu
Alexis Levitin
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Plattsburgh, New York
Spring, 2009