“Notes on a Journey to Ever-Dying Lands” article series

NOTES ON A RETURN TO AN EVER-DYING LAND: Arturo Desimone’s series on Latin American poetry. Originally for the Drunken Boat Poetry Interview, later Anomaly and Democracia Abierta.

Below is a list of links to online publications of the articles, essays, interviews and poetry translations that together compose ”Notes on a Journey to the Ever-Dying Lands”, a series exploring movements in Latin American poetry that might be less known by the Anglophone general public.  I name the series in homage to Martiniqan poet Aimé Césaire’s ”Notebook on a Journey to the Native Land”


Poems of Fierce Soul: Poems in Guaraní and in Spanish by Mario Castells/Juan Ignacio Cabrera  2016

Poesía en guaraní y en castellano

Tres Poemas de Alma Feroz, por Mario Castells y Juan Ignacio Cabrera


The Journeys of HANAN HARAWI: Interview with Peruvian poet and publisher John Martínez Gonzalez

link to the interview in Anomaly blog (formerly Drunken Boat )

La Insurrección de Hanan Harawi : entrevista con John Martinez Gonzalez, poeta y editor peruano 

link to the interview in Democracia Abierta (bilingual)

” Heart in the Apacheta Stone Poems” my translations of poems by John Martinez Gonzalez (link here)  


“August marked 90 years since the birth of Blanca Varela, poet godmother of Peruvian surrealism” https://medium.com/anomalyblog/notes-on-a-return-to-the-ever-dying-land-da2c4b74690a

View at Medium.com

Introducing Transmigrations of Latin American music into Poetry

View at Medium.com

Bob Zimmerman’s (”Bob Dylan’s”)sparrow-song and broken lute awarded as literature, only fortnight since I faxed Stockholm with my essay on Latin American poetic incursions into music and folklore in “Notes on a Journey to the Ever-Dying Lands” Pure coincidence? Are the Swedes being coy or forthright? You never know with the Swedes.



Singing Idea: Voice artist Montse Ruano ‘s quest to put one of Uruguay’s important poets to music

Part 2 of an essay on transmigrations of Latin American poetry into music   https://medium.com/anomalyblog/notes-on-a-return-to-the-ever-dying-lands-f6ec3b261913


On September 11th, 1973 the military coup in Chile killed or imprisoned the Chilean democratically elected government. The coup, backed by theUS Nixon-Kissinger administration, grabbed power shortly before Pablo Neruda died in hospital and marked the discontinuation of any progressive or humanitarian ideas in the politics of that country. Decades earlier, undera progressive Chilean government long before that of Allende, Neruda smuggled around 2000 Spanish civil war refugees into his country. https://medium.com/anomalyblog/notes-on-a-journey-to-the-ever-dying-lands-6723ff01be9c

CUBA, 2017

Part 1 of a report on a recent literary journey to Cuba to attend thecaucus of young Latin American and Caribbean writers! This is part of my blog “Notes on a Journey for the Ever-Dying Lands” (which began as aseries on Latin American poetry for The Drunken Boat Poetry Review and now for Anomaly review or magazine.)https://medium.com/anomalyblog/notes-on-a-journey-to-the-ever-dying-lands-a80898824659


CANNED COAL BIRD: Interview with Miroslava Rosales, Salvadoreña poet, for the Drunken Boat (later, to my and my interviewees’ surprise, renamed Anomaly.) https://medium.com/anomalyblog/notes-on-a-return-to-the-ever-dying-lands-c421e5f11d6f


ALLEGRO VIVACE: Translations of Miroslava Rosales’ poems, by Dylan Brennan and Jessica Rainey, performed by Jessica Rainey  and Ayesha Mendham https://medium.com/anomalyblog/notes-on-a-return-to-the-ever-dying-lands-allegro-vivace-5b93cf4a7a3


Those Without Tombs in Memory Park: On poems by the disappeared Argentinean child Franca Jarach, and her mother’s recent statements to the German Chancellor. https://medium.com/anomalyblog/notes-on-a-return-to-the-ever-dying-lands-50b882ac2ead


In Conversation with Lucina Schell: Importing Miguel Bustos’s VISION OF THE CHILDREN OF EVIL to a New Tongue and New Shore


Was Miguel-Ángel Bustos the Argentinean poet who prophesied his own death? A dream interprets me.

(Book-review of translation of Miguel-Ángel Bustos’ Visión de los Hijos del Mal, 



Reading the Argentinian resistance writer Rodolfo Walsh in the Times of Trump


<<Under the Buenos Aires Night>> : Interview with Argentinian independent publisher, returned exile and political activist Miguel Martínez Naón about poetry, memory, and revolution.

link to Anomaly-medium https://medium.com/anomalyblog/notes-on-a-return-to-the-ever-dying-lands-196554313154

in Democracia Abierta/Opendemocracy https://www.opendemocracy.net/democraciaabierta/arturo-desimone-miguel-mart-nez-na-n/bajo-la-noche-de-buenos-aires


The Last Great Author of Curaçao? On Frank Martinus Arion

link https://sydneyreviewofbooks.com/was-arion-the-last-great-author-of-curacao/    * originally slated for publication in early 2017, it was published in february 2018 in the SRB.


Between the Naked Water and the Flower of the Iroko:

A book review of My Country Tonight by Josué Guébo, translated by Todd Fredson, in bilingual edition from Action Books.

ANTILLES / PAPIAMENTO  The Divided  Dutch Antillean Writer and the Unifying Force of Translation: A manifesto on translation in Small Axe Salon http://smallaxe.net/sxsalon/discussions/divided-dutch-antillean-writer-and-unifying-force-translation

Note / Outro

Both new, and 20th century Latin American poetry has been largely obscured due, in great part, to a scarcity of translations. Clayton Eshleman’s translation of Cesar Vallejo is known as a rare milestone in this regard, though Vallejo is a household name in Latin American countries and in Spain. While Blanca Varela of Peru obtained world-wide recognition in her lifetime and was supported by Mario Vargas Llosa, the translations in the Anglo-sphere are few.

Mia Couto of Mozambique says writing serves to re-enchant the world, if it serves at all. This series, too, originates partly in disenchantment and to quest to re-enchant: much of the presentation and curation and recent Anglo-American editorial attempts to highlight Latin American poetry at this stage seemed like academic attempts following a predictable agenda of deconstructing and classifying the sociological issues of the continent from an Anglo, Western and academic perspective–though that may be risking a slightly too radical dismissal, I heard my view often reciprocated among other Latin American poets when I attended literary gatherings in Havana. Here I seek to mend the situation to the best of my   abilities (as Juan Perón said, from each according to his ability.)  Notes on a Journey to the Ever Dying also collects very personal reflections, because I am an Argentinean citizen who was, oddly enough, born and raised on the island Aruba, off the coast of Venezuela and one of the last territories still corresponding to the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean. I later emigrated to the Netherlands, but after some years began to spend long periods in Argentina and to live and write there.

Initially the name of the publication that owns the blog was Drunken Boat International Poetry Review.  My interviewees knew of the reputation of the Drunken Boat and were very happy to see their work published there, but due to an unexpected crisis the original managing editors went their separates and the name of the publication had to change to Anomaly; retroactively the logo above all the posts I had published up to a certain point in 2017 also changed to Anomaly. I remain an unwitting foreign correspondent regarding that imbroglio.

-Arturo Desimone

author of Notes on a Journey to the Ever-Dying Lands, among other things.