Landscape with Yellow Birds by Jose Angel Valente

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This collection is not only an important contribution to Spanish-language poetry in translation, it is a passionate joy to read.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

For José Ángel Valente, the word was foremost. He was of a generation that came of age under the Franco dictatorship. But unlike many of his contemporaries, he did not often address political or social issues directly in his poems. His influence as a poetic force proved to be much deeper. From the outset Valente’s work was bold yet disciplined, immediate yet lyrical, combining poetic precision with a knack for capturing vital moments and a keen ear for musicality. His chief concern was poetry that explored and transcended itself: poetry as knowledge. A poet of unfailing integrity, he never wavered in his pursuit of the truth of the word. Exploring questions of love, loss, and the spirit, he stripped twentieth-century Spanish poetry of its rhetorical excesses, producing contemplative, introspective, and at times mystical verses, rejecting the facile and embracing silence. In his later years, he turned to stirring, highly distilled prose poems in such works as The Singer Does Not Awaken and Landscape with Yellow Birds. Then the clear melody of his early verse gave way to intensely resonant passages that folded in upon each other and opened startling vistas in unexpected directions. This is the first major selection of Valente’s work to appear in English.
 

About Jose Angel Valente

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José Ángel Valente (1929-2000) produced more than twenty volumes of poetry and many important essays. He lived in Switzerland from 1958 to 1982, and some of his work was not allowed to be published in Franco's Spain. Valente expressed that poetry is a "revelation of an aspect of reality to which there is no means of access other than through poetic knowledge." He was awarded the Premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras in 1988, the Premio de la Fun- dación Pablo Iglesias in 1984, the Premio Reina Sofía de Poesía Iberoamericana in 1993, the Premio de la Crítica in 1960 and 1990, and the Premio Nacional de Literatura posthumously in 2000. Upon his death in 2000, The Independent called him "Spain's greatest contemporary poet." Thomas Christensen is the author of 1616: The World in Motion and New World/New Words: Recent Writing from the Americas. He has translated, often in collaboration with his wife, Carol Christensen, works by Carlos Fuentes, Julio Cortázar, Alejo Carpentier, and Louis-Ferdinand Céline, among others. He lives in Richmond, California.



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Author Hometown: Spain Thomas Christensen is the author of 1616: The World in Motion and New World/New Worlds: Recent Writings from the Americas. He has translated, often in collaboration with his wife, Carol Christensen, works by Carlos Fuentes, Julio Cortazar, Alejo Carpentier, and Louis-Ferdinand Celine, among others. He lives in Richmond, California.Illustrator Residence: San Francisco, CA
 
Published April 30, 2013 by Archipelago. 200 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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NY Journal of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Laverne Frith on Apr 30 2013

This collection is not only an important contribution to Spanish-language poetry in translation, it is a passionate joy to read.

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