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Extracting the Stone of Madness Poems 1962–1972

by Alejandra Pizarnik

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There is an aura of almost legendary prestige that surrounds the life and work of Alejandra Pizarnik.

César Aira

The first full-length collection in English by one of Latin America's most significant twentieth-century poets.

Extracting the Stone of Madness Poems 1962–1972

Poetry by Alejandra Pizarnik

translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert

Winner of the 2017 Best Translated Book Award in Poetry

Revered by Octavio Paz and Roberto Bolaño, Alejandra Pizarnik is still a hidden treasure in the U.S. Extracting the Stone of Madness comprises all of her middle to late work, as well as a selection of posthumously published verse. Obsessed with themes of solitude, childhood, madness, and death, Pizarnik explored the shifting valences of the self and the border between speech and silence. In her own words, she was drawn to “the suffering of Baudelaire, the suicide of Nerval, the premature silence of Rimbaud, the mysterious and fleeting presence of Lautréamont,” and to the “unparalleled intensity” of Artaud’s “physical and moral suffering.”

published May 17th, 2016