The Origin of Species and Other Poems
translated and introduced by John Lyons
foreword by Anne Waldman
Texas Tech University Press, April, 2011
[publisher's website text]
Ernesto Cardenal, widely acknowledged as Latin America's greatest living poet, continues to craft works of striking beauty, as demonstrated in this collection’s title poem, an exquisite meditation on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Among the twenty new poems included here are many appearing for the first time in English, some for the first time anywhere. Cardenal has also added new cantigas, or cantos, to supplement his book-length masterpiece, Cosmic Canticle. “There is order even in the foam of a torrent,” affirms Cardenal. Evolution, natural selection, existence, and purpose figure into this complex symphony. In his characteristic blend of poetry, politics, and prayer, he grapples with elemental questions of life, delivering a thought-provoking, joyous vision of an earthly paradise in which humanity must find its role and calling.
Cardenal epitomizes what makes literature live in Central America today. —Booklist
One of the world’s major poets. —Choice
Cardenal is a major epic-histocial poet, in the grand lineage of Central American prophet Rubén Dario. —Allen Ginsberg
One of the most influential (and controversial) poets of his generation. —Robert Hass
Praise for The Origin of Species and Other Poems
The crowning work in the long career of this well-known Latin American poet . . . [whose] revolutionary fire is still evident, but it's subsumed in the subjects of the poems rather than manifest[ed] in slogans. —Ed Ochester
A Whitmanic embrace and . . . a timely political resonance with a particularly difficult and broken-hearted new century. —Anne Waldman, from the foreword
The author of more than thirty-five books, many translated into multiple languages, Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1965. His studies with Trappist monk Thomas Merton and his involvement with the Sandinista movement in his home country have informed his writing and political activism. He lives in Managua, Nicaragua, where he is vice president of Casa de los Tres Mundos, a literary and cultural organization.
Poet, journalist, and musician John Lyons has translated previous works of Ernesto Cardenal and other Spanish-language poets. He lives in São Carlos, Brazil.
The author of more than forty books of poetry, Anne Waldman lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Ernesto Cardenal will read from his new book, The Origin of Species and Other Stories on April 22 at the Museo de las Amerícas, 861 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO, at 6:00 PM. The event is free and is hosted by the Colorado Center for the Book.
A visit by this world-renown poet and revolutionary is a rare occurrence - avoid the self-recriminations and plan to attend. Support the Colorado Center for the Book and its new initiatives to expand and illuminate the Denver cultural scene.
Tim Z. Hernandez, well-known poet and debut novelist with his book Breathing, In Dust, which I reviewed for La Bloga back here. I've learned that Tim's book is a finalist for a California Book Award in the category of First Work of Fiction - I believe the awards will be announced the week of April 11. Good luck, Tim!
Meanwhile, fellow bloguero, René Colato Laínez, is also nominated for a California Book Award in the Children's Book category for From North to South/Del Norte Al Sur, illustrations by Joe Cepeda. Published by Children's Book Press. Buena suerte, René!
|Thursday - Opening Night|
Thursday, April 7 - 7:30 p.m.
Vivian Lesnik Weisman 2008 90 min USA / Cuba
Not showing at a theatre near you, THE MAN OF TWO HAVANAS, has no US distributor nor will you see it on PBS anytime soon. The film that many members of Congress don't want you to see exposes what's really behind US - Cuban relations and the double standard on terror. Cuban born, Miami bred Vivian Lesnik Weisman has ruffled feathers befitting her pedigree as daughter of legendary journalist, Max Lesnik. With a childhood filled with bombings, attempts on her father, the filmmaker explores her relationship with him and the Cuba he left behind.
Introduced by Denver Mayor Guillermo (Bill) Vidal
|Friday - XicanIndie Awards and Films|
Friday, April 8
Reception - 6:30 p.m.
Gun Hill Road - 7:30 p.m.- Salon I
POETIC MYTH of Tony Shearer - 7:45 - Salon II
Friday, April 8 7:45 p.m.
The Poetic Myth of Tony Shearer
Daniel Salazar 2011 50 min USA
Beloved CO storyteller, author and activist from questionable background creates a poetic myth about his life, the praying flute and the Aztec calendar through a lifetime of stories, writings and performing which cumulated in a worldwide "harmonic convergence". Tony tells his own story, complemented by interviews with family, friends and collaborators; his artwork, rare videos and publications.
|SATURDAY - XicanIndie y Mas!|
Chones - XicanIndie Shorts - Saturday April 9 - 4 p.m.
Choke - Michele Latimer 2011 - 11 min Canada
After leaving his First Nations reservation, Jimmy encounters the lost souls of the city and realizes you cannot escape who you are.
COPIA "A" - Pablo Alberto Diaz 2009 5:40 min Argentina - The exhiliration experienced by the projectionist at an old movie theater quickly turns into a nightmare.
Cinderella - Magali Magistry 2011 11 min Brazil/France - Luiza and Rico: love and loss in a Rio de Janeiro nightclub.
Saturday, April 9 - 4:30
Jose Alvarenga Jr. 2010 93 min Brazil
Mercedes, a 40-something, married mother of two, suddenly and without explanation, decides to visit a psychiatrist. What begins as mere curiosity turns into a devastating experience that causes a series of dramatic changes in her daily life. On the couch, she questions her marriage, her professional accomplishments and her seductive prowess as a woman. This is just the beginning.....
Special Fundraising Reception for CAVP
Saturday April 9 - 6 p.m.
For the past 25 years, CAVP has been dedicated to eliminating violence within and against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities in Colorado.
Join us for a reception in CAVP's honor! Enjoy delicious appetizers and your first sangria free, hear about this organization's important work, and support their efforts with a donation.
Saturday - 7 p.m.
Alan Dominguez 2011 55 min USA
This haunting yet hopeful documentary tells the story of Angie Zapata, a transgender teen who was murdered in rural Greeley, Colorado in 2008. The film moves between the trial of her killer, Angie's brief life and self-discovery told through family and friends, and the fruition of national hate crime legislation with Angie's case very much in the foreground as it was the first time that a transgender murderer was successfully prosecuted under hate crime laws. Told in five movements, one per day of the trial of Angie's killer, the film features a classical score by Mackenzie Gault of the national touring band The Flobots and additional music by L.A.-based band Ozomatli. The film reveals Angie's simple life in the context of a complicated struggle juxtaposed with her violent death at the hands of a man whose true nature is finally revealed.
IN PERSON: Producer/Director Alan Dominguez, Producer David Dominguez
Saturday, April 9 7:30 p.m.
The Dry Land
Ryan Piers Williams 2009 92 min USA
James (Ryan O'Nan) returns from Iraq to face a new battle-reintegrating into his small-town life in Texas. His wife (America Ferrera), his mother (Melissa Leo), and his friend (Jason Ritter) provide support, but they can't fully understand the pain and suffering he feels since his tour of duty ended.
Sunday April 10 2 p.m.
As Long as I Remember: AMERICAN VETERANOS -
Laura Varela 2011 50 min USA
Produced and Directed by San Antonio filmmaker Laura Varela, the documentary chronicles the experiences of three South Texas Vietnam-era veterans who are also artists: visual artist Juan Farías, author Michael Rodríguez and poet/performance artist Eduardo Garza. The film takes the audience through the lives of the artists and their families: growing up in the Mexican American community, their military service in Vietnam, and their lives after the war.
Sunday, April 10 4 p.m.
Tropico de Sangre - Juan Delancer 2010 120 min Dominican Republic/USA
Based on a true story. Set in the 1950s, Minerva Mirabal and her sisters are raised in a privileged well-to-do family. But the country is in turmoil under the brutal dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo. This is the story of how Minerva and her sisters dared to stand up against the dictator.
Sunday, April 10 - 6 p.m.
Hoping to better their lives, the men migrate wthout realizing that they are destroying what they want to protect most: their families. The men return to find nothing is the same as the women have taken over. A distinctly Mixteca take on the human condition and how dreams sometimes distract us from the miracles that surround us.