José Emilio Pacheco

José Emilio Pacheco (1939- ) is one of Mexico’s foremost poets, novelists, and essayists. A lifelong resident of Mexico City, Pacheco has been a guest lecturer throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain. Some of Pacheco’s best known collections of poetry include Miro la tierra (which documented the Mexico City earthquake), El reposo del fuego, Fin de siglo y otros poemas, Arbol entere dos muros/Tree between two walls, and Selected Poems. His No me preguntas cómo pasa el tiempo was awarded Mexico’s National Poetry Prize. New Directions publishes two titles by Emilio Pacheco: Battles in the Desert & Other Stories, translated by Katherine Silver; and Selected Poems, Edited by George McWhirter with various translators (bilingual) (both 1987).

Selected Poems of Jose Emilio Pacheco

José Emilio Pacheco’s Selected Poems is the first major retrospective gathering to appear in an English-Spanish bilingual format of the work of one of Mexico’s foremost writers. Born in 1939, his talent was recognized early, and while still in his twenties he was already keeping company with the great Spanish-speaking poets of Latin America. A prolific poet and a perfectionist, Pacheco has since 1962 published seven volumes of poetry, including the National Poetry Prize-winning No me preguntes como pasa el tiempo (Don’t Ask Me How the Time Goes By) in 1969.…
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Pacheco often hits with deadly accuracy.

Quarterly Conversation

For José Emilio Pacheco time is the agent of universal destruction, and history—the passage of ruins…Pacheco exalts the triumph of nature over culture, but in exalting it, doesn’t he transfigure it, changing it into the word, or—as he puts it—into ‘fleeting music, the counterpoint of wind and water’?

—Octavio Paz
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