Poetry. Latinx Studies. Translated by Lisa Allen Ortiz and Sara Daniele Rivera. THE BLINDING STAR collects selected new translations of poems by the Peruvian poet Blanca Varela and includes two of her most experimental works in their entirety: The Book of Clay and Animal Concert. Although Varela has been categorized as a surrealist, this collection reframes her work as existentially feminist. There is nothing arbitrary in Varela's serrated language and carnal obsessions. She is telling the story of a woman's liminal being—her body as both a vessel of expectations and a vast unmapped interior. Octavio Paz described Varela's work as "Both the wound and the knife," and this collection emphasizes the duality of her poetry. These poems journey inward through dark gardens to expose the wound of grief and outward again with sharp clarity. Blanca Varela is a singular artist, furiously searching for fragments of brightness in the merciless landscape of her own mind.
Blanca Varela (1926-2009) of Lima, Peru is considered one of the greatest poetic voices of Latin America. Her literary career began with the publication of Ese puerto existe (1959), a collection that included a famed prologue by Octavio Paz. Varela went on to publish a total of nine collections of poetry. She was awarded the Gabriela Mistral Medal in 1996, the Octavio Paz Prize for a first edition of Poetry in 2001, the Federico García Lorca International Poetry Prize in 2006, and the Reina Sofía Prize for Ibero-American Poetry in 2007. Varela lived for over a decade in Paris, but ultimately returned to Lima, her city of birth, which she wrote "was waiting for me with all I left in order to find" (Antes de escribir estas líneas, 2001). She passed away in Lima in 2009.Author City: LIMA PER