Poetry. Latinx Studies. Women's Studies. Translated by Alec Schumacher. Introduction by Cecilia Vicuña. Shortlisted for the 2020 National Translation Award. THE CHILEAN FLAG narrates the vicissitudes of the Chilean flag during the Pinochet dictatorship (1973-1990), evoking the fate of victims of political violence. The Chilean flag is a protagonist divested of agency, a national emblem subjected to the whims of political exigency, a body tortured by those who profess their allegiance to her. Written in 1981, the book became a potent symbol in opposition to the dictatorship and was passed around in mimeographed copies until it was formally published in 1991. Despite the uniquely Chilean context of the work, this poem contains an urgent message for readers today as rising nationalist movements mobilize patriotic discourse in order to silence dissenting voices.
Excerpt @ Asymptote
Elvira Hernández (b. Lebu, Chile, 1951), pseudonym of María Teresa Adriasola, is a Chilean poet, essayist, and literary critic. She is one of the most important voices of contemporary poetry in the Southern Cone and the Chilean neo-avant-garde (also known as the Escena de avanzada) although she eschews such categorical markers. Her most recent book of poetry is THE CHILEAN FLAG (Kenning Editions, 2019), translated by Alec Schumacher. Some of her most important works include Pájaros desde mi ventana (2018), Actas urbe (2016), Cuaderno de deportes (2010), Cultivo de hojas (2007), Álbum de Valparaíso (2002), Santiago Waria (1992), El orden de los días (1991), La bandera de Chile (1991), Carta de Viaje (1989), Meditaciones físicas por un hombre que se fue (1987), and ¡Arre! Halley ¡Arre! (1986). Recently, she was the recipient of the Jorge Tellier National Poetry Award (2018) and the Pablo Neruda Ibero-American Poetry Award (2018).Author City: Lebu CHL