Homero Aridjis (1940– ), twice a Guggenheim Fellow, was born in Michoacán, of Mexican-Greek ancestry Poet, novelist, columnist and environmental activist. He is President of International PEN and was Mexican ambassador to the Netherlands and Switzerland. His work has been widely translated. Among other marks of recognition, in 1997, he received the Prix Roger Callois in France for his prose and poetry. He has been a visiting professor at Indiana University, New York University and Columbia, and held the Nichols Chair in Humanities and the Public Sphere at the University of California, Irvine. He has been an editorial page columnist at the Mexican newspapers La Jornada, Reforma and El Universal since 1985, publishing hundreds of articles about environmental, political and literary topics.
Poetry by Homero Aridjis
translated by Betty Ferber
Eyes to See Otherwise is the first widely representative selection by Mexico’s greatest living poet to be published in a bilingual edition. The range and quality of the translations, by some of America’s finest poets, mark the centrality of his work on the map of modern poetry. Homero Aridjis’s sources range from Nahuatl chants and Huichol initiation songs to San Juan de la Cruz and the 16th-century Spanish poet Luis de Góngora y Argote. He is, in the words of translator George McWhirter, "a troubadour of love for lost environments, a voice in the wilderness of Mexico City and Mexico." Included in this selection are poems by Aridjis evoking his own life, present and past, his memories always sticking close to his birthplace Contepec, where, on Altamirano Hill, the Monarch butterflies arrive each year. This long awaited Selected Poems enables the reader to witness, from the 1960 collection The Eyes of a Double Vision to new unpublished poems, the poetic and personal evolution of this "visionary poet of lyrical bliss, crystalline concentrations and infinite spaces" (Kenneth Rexroth).