Mexican Poetry Today: 20/20 Voices

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Reviewed in Borderlands, Texas Poetry Review (Winter 2012).

About Mexican Poetry Today: 20/20 Voices, edited by Brandel France de Bravo (Shearsman)

Octavio Paz wrote that “to read a poem is to hear it with our eyes; to hear it is to see it with our ears.” The bilingual anthology, Mexican Poetry Today: 20/20 Voices, features poets born after World War II—sometimes dubbed  the post-Paz generation—all of them masters of synesthesia. Like any good anthology, Mexican Poetry Today opens a door to the strangely beautiful and resonant, bringing the news that people die every day for lack of.  It also invites readers who know little of Mexico or its literary traditions to discover that richness. The poets in this collection come from all over Mexico, and as editor I feel compelled to sing their diversity:  they are cosmopolitan and provincial; they write in free verse and in traditional forms; they are straight and gay, of the academy and of the street; they are the grandchildren of fishermen, bankers and Russian revolutionaries.  In this Mexico, pan dulce (Mexican pastry) shares a plate with swallow’s nest soup, and the rosary is said while observing Rosh Hashanah.

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