Originally published in Willow Springs 19

About Roberto Juarroz

Photo: www.poetryinternationalweb.net

Roberto Juarroz published fourteen volumes of poetry in all, numbered successively 1 to 14, under the general title “Poesía vertical”, the first appearing in 1958 and the final one posthumously in 1997. A fifteenth volume was edited by his wife, the poet and critic Laura Cerrato, and published after his death. W.S. Merwin published a bilingual selection of Juarroz’ poems in 1977 (Kayak Books) which was re-issued in an enlarged edition in 1987 (North Point Press), both volumes entitled Verical Poetry. In 1992 Mary Crow published her translations of the later work as Vertical Poetry: Recent Poems (White Pine Press), which won a Colorado Book Award. In 2011 Crow’s translations of a selection of Juarroz’ final poems will appear as Vertical Poetry: Last Poems (White Pine Press).

 

W.S. Merwin’s first poetry collection, “A Mask for Janus,” was chosen by W. H. Auden for the Yale Series of Younger Poets in 1952. Merwin is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, for his collections “The Carrier of Ladders” and “The Shadow of Sirius.” His work is noted for exploring the individual’s relationship to both political and natural landscapes. In addition to his poetry, Merwin is the author of two memoirs; several books of prose; and translations of Pablo Neruda, Federico García Lorca, and Dante, among others. He has received numerous honors, including the Bollingen Prize for Poetry, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a National Book Award, a Lannan Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement, and a PEN Translation Prize. Merwin was a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1988 to 2000, and has been named the first Laureate of the Zbigniew Herbert International Literary Award. From 2010 to 2011, he served as the seventeenth Poet Laureate of the United States.