Edited by Barbara Paschke, Alejandro Murguía

Poems from Central America

"A contact bomb, a volcano ready to erupt" describes not only Central America in the 1980s but—in the conception of its editors—this anthology of contraband poetry. The poems themselves were often copied by hand and smuggled onto Mexico, from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. In all those countries, except Nicaragua, this poetry is banned. The thirty-nine poets represented here give potent voice to the struggles of their peoples under the crushing oppression of life "under the volcano" in these war-stunned lands. Many of these women and men have been jailed, exiled, killed, or otherwise made to disappear.

"Still they survive in these faithful and sensitive translations by a new literary underground in North America.

"These are poems of war, exile, love and death. As such, they are about life lived at an extreme level of intensity. You will find no enchanting country scenes in this anthology, nor the travel-poster images of picturesque villages, pretty women and delicate folk-art. You will find the true reality that is hidden behind that facade; in other words, the guerrilla in the jungle, the years of bitter exile, the corpses of young people lining the early morning streets of Guatemala and El Salvador. There is the taste of total oppression that is Honduras–and the victorious insurrection of Nicaragua with its dreams for the future and its memories of those who fell along the arduous road. . . . This anthology is a statement of solidarity; it's bilingual because many for whom these poems are meant cannot read them in their own countries but will read them in the cities of their exile. This is an anthology of the most committed poetry there is. This is not an anthology at all, but a contact bomb, a volcano ready to erupt." —Alejandro Murguía, 1983, Introduction

Alejandro Murguía was born in California, but raised in Mexico City. His experiences as an international volunteer in the Nicaraguan Insurrection of 1979 are recounted in his second collection of short stories Southern Front (American Book Award,1991). He lives in San Francisco, where he teaches Latin American literature at San Francisco State University. He was named Poet Laureate of San Francisco in 2012.

Title Volcán
Edited by Barbara Paschke, Alejandro Murguía
Language Spanish
Publisher City Lights Publishers
Title First Published 01 December 1983
Format Paperback
Nb of pages 160 p.
ISBN-10 0872861538
ISBN-13 9780872861534
Publication Date 01 December 1983
Main content page count 160
Dimensions 5.5 x 8 in.
Weight 16 oz.
List Price $13.95

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anthology of underground poetry, banned poetry, Central America in the 1980s, desaparecidos, poetry about oppression, poetry about war, poetry from El Salvador, poetry from Guatemala, poetry from Honduras, poetry from Nicaragua