Poetry. Translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert. First published in 1955 and now translated for the first time into English, THE MOST FOREIGN COUNTRY is Alejandra Pizarnik's debut collection. Here, the nineteen–year–old poet begins to explore the themes that will shape and define her vision: the solitude of the poetic self, the longing for artistic depth, and the tenuous nearness of death. By turns probing and playful, bold and difficult, Pizarnik's earliest poems teem with an exuberant desire "to grab hold of everything" and to create a language that tests the limits of origin, paradox, and death.
feature @ Music & LiteratureJohn Taylor @ The Antioch Review
Alejandra Pizarnik (1936-1972) was a leading voice in twentieth-century Latin American poetry. Born in the port city of Avellaneda, in the province of Buenos Aires, to Russian- Jewish immigrants, Pizarnik studied literature and painting at the University of Buenos Aires and spent most of her life in Argentina. From 1960-1964 she lived in Paris, where she was influenced by the work of the Surrealists (many of whom she translated into Spanish) and participated in a vibrant community of writers including Simone de Beauvoir and fellow expatriates Julio Cortázar and Octavio Paz. Known primarily for her poetry, Pizarnik also wrote works of criticism and journalism, experimental fiction, plays, and a literary diary. She was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1968 and a Fulbright Scholarship in 1971. Her complete works in Spanish have been published by Editorial Lumen. A book of her critical writings, A TRADITION OF RUPTURE (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019), was translated into English by Cole Heinowitz. Five books of her poetry have been translated into English: THE LAST INNOCENCE / THE LOST ADVENTURES (Ugly Duckling Presse 2019), THE MOST FOREIGN COUNTRY (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017), DIANA'S TREE (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2014), A Musical Hell and Extracting the Stone of Madness: Poems 1962-1972 (New Directions, 2016) and The Galloping Hour: French Poems (New Directions, 2018). She died in Buenos Aires, of an apparent drug overdose, at the age of 36.Author City: BUENOS AIRES ARG