Poetry. Latinx Studies. Translated by Tony Frazer. Huidobro published POEMAS ÁRTICOS in Madrid in 1918, this being the last of a rapid series of publications which established him as a major new talent both in French and in Spanish. POEMAS ÁRTICOS is particularly interesting in that it shows the author taking on board lessons learned from Guillaume Apollinaire—an early friend in Paris—and probably also Pierre Reverdy, although this is something of an assumption, given that Reverdy repudiated his early work from this period and the poems that might have been an influence are no longer extant; the two poets also fell out, for reasons that are unclear. In any event, this is his longest Spanish-language volume up to this point, and marks a significant breakthrough.
The Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro (1893-1948) is one of the most important figures in 20th-century Hispanic poetry and, with César Vallejo, one of the pioneering avant- gardists in Spanish. Originally from an upper-class Santiago family, Huidobro was fortunate to have the means to support himself and his family while he found his artistic way. After an early phase writing in a quasi-symbolist style in his native city, he moved to Paris and threw himself into the local artistic milieu with a passion, quickly becoming a notable figure, publishing a large number of books in the period 1917-1925. Influenced initially by Apollinaire, Huidobro quickly befriended both forward-looking French writers such as Reverdy, Cocteau and Radiguet, and the Spanish expatriate artists, including Picasso and Juan Gris. He reached his poetic maturity in 1931 with the publication of two master-pieces: the long poem, Altazor, and the book-length prose-poem Temblor de cielo (Skyquake). Two further collections would follow during his lifetime, both published in Santiago in 1941. While he also published successful novels and plays, it is for his poetry that he is best remembered today.Author City: Santiago CHL
Tony Frazer is the publisher of Shearsman Books, founder of Shearsman magazine, and occasional translator from German and Spanish. He is engaged in a large project to bring the majority of Vicente Huidobro's poetry into English.