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Part of: The Poetry Translation Centre's Latinx Showcase Launching The Thorn of Your Name by Víctor Terán, translated by Shook (online)

Online

I lift a paper, your name.
I put something away, your name.
There is nowhere I go
that I do not have the thorn of your name
nailed to the tip of my finger
and no matter where I go,
the memory of your face silently bites
the leg of my existence.

From ‘Your Name’ by Víctor Terán, translated by Shook

Víctor Terán has been described as the most ‘personal’ poet of the Zapotec Isthmus of Oaxaca, Mexico, and ‘one of the most important Latin American voices of his generation’. Terán's poems, highly lyrical and imagistic, explore two deep passions: the electricity that passes between bodies in love, and Terán's fierce devotion to the Indigenous land and language of his birth.

The Thorn Of Your Name is a carefully curated selection of poems, drawing from the whole of Terán’s poetic oeuvre. The poems are translated into English by his long-time translator and interlocutor, the poet Shook, working from Spanish bridge-translations made by the author.

This online event will feature breathtaking readings from Terán and Shook in Zapotec Isthmus and English, followed by a Q&A chaired by Leo Boix.

This trilingual event will be live interpreted so anyone with Spanish or English can join.

More about the artists

Víctor Terán is the preeminent poet of the Isthmus Zapotec language of southern Oaxaca, Mexico. His work has been translated and anthologized around the world. He has published six books of poetry, including an anthology featuring his translations into Isthmus Zapotec of 40 world poets. In Shook’s translation, his work has appeared in Poetry, World Literature Today, Modern Poetry in Translation and Oxford Magazine, among others, as well as a Poetry Translation Centre chapbook in 2010. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and featured on BBC4 and KCRW’s Bookworm. He is co-editor, with Shook, of Like a New Sun: New Indigenous Poetry from Mexico (Phoneme Media, 2015), which showcases contemporary poetry written in six of the Indigenous languages of Mexico. Terán’s most recent book in English is The Spines of Love / Ca guichi xti’ guendara naxhii (Gato Negro Ediciones, 2022).

Shook lives in Northern California. Their translations of Indigenous Mexican poetry also include work from Nahuatl, which they studied in the village of San Agustín Oapan, Guerrero, and Mikeas Sánchez’s How to Be a Good Savage and Other Poems (Milkweed Editions, 2024), co-translated from Zoque and Spanish with Wendy Call.

Leo Boix is a bilingual Latinx poet and translator born in Argentina and based in the UK. His debut collection in English, Ballad of a Happy Immigrant, was published by Chatto & Windus in 2021 and was the recipient of the PBS Wild Card Choice. In 2022, his translation of Diana Bellessi’s To Love A Woman, published by the Poetry Translation Centre, won an English PEN Award. Boix is a fellow of The Complete Works program and a board member of Magma Poetry. He is also a co-director of Un Nuevo Sol, an Arts Council England scheme that aims to promote Latinx writers in the UK. Boix has received several awards for his poetry, including the Bart Wolffe Poetry Award, the Keats-Shelley Prize, a PEN Award, and The Society of Authors’ Foundation and K. Blundell Trust. His second collection is forthcoming with Chatto & Windus (Vintage) in early 2025.

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