Wednesday, June 08, 2022

Aquí era el paraíso / Here Was Paradise

Aquí era el paraíso / Here Was Paradise: 

Selección de poemas de Humberto Ak’abal 

Selected Poems of Humberto Ak’abal


By Humberto Ak'abal 

Illustrated by  Amelia Lau Carling 

Translated by Hugh Hazelton



Publisher: Groundwood Books; Bilingual edition 

Language: English

Hardcover: 172 pages

ISBN-10: 1773064959

ISBN-13: 978-1773064956



A collection of poetry by one of the greatest Indigenous poets of the Americas about the vanished world of his childhood ― that of the Maya K’iche’.


Aquí era el paraíso / Here Was Paradise is a selection of poems written by the great Maya poet Humberto Ak’abal. They evoke his childhood in and around the Maya K’iche’ village of Momostenango, Guatemala, and also describe his own role as a poet of the place.


Ak’abal writes about children, and grandfathers, and mothers, and animals, and ghosts, and thwarted love, and fields, and rains, and poetry, and poverty, and death.


The poetry was written for adults but can also be read and loved by young people, especially in this collection, beautifully illustrated by award-winning Guatemalan-American illustrator Amelia Lau Carling.


Ak’abal is famous worldwide as one of the great contemporary poets in the Spanish language, and one of the greatest Indigenous poets of the Americas. Ak’abal first composed his poems in K’iche’ in his mind before writing them down in Spanish.




An excellent addition to poetry collections for youth, sure to also find fans among adult readers. STARRED REVIEW ― School Library Journal


Beautiful imagery ushers readers into a complex conversation. ― Kirkus Reviews


Vital and refreshing. ― Toronto Star


[A] closely observant and at times mischievous ode to the small moments and details in quotidian life. ― Booklist

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