In Fernando Valverde’s América, “sorrow is ancient.” Mournfully lyrical, politically sharp, with a sweeping view of American roots, dysfunctions, and ideals—as if from above, and yet also from within—this is a book that deconstructs the legacy of empire. From the Mississippi River to Fulton Avenue, from slavery to “lone wolf” shooters, Valverde grieves but does not wince away from all that is lost to greed and a culture of violence, painting an urgent portrait of “the thirst of America / a smile satisfied to death.” Valverde is widely regarded as one of the most important younger Spanish-language poets. Here his vibrant voice and convictions are translated and introduced by Carolyn Forché, herself a world-renowned poet of witness. Bilingual, with Spanish originals and English translations.
“Fernando Valverde is the most international poet of his generation. His poetry draws from the best sources of lyricism and is an example of modernity and tradition, of wisdom and emotion.”
—Luis García Montero, Spanish poet and critic.
Fernando Valverde is one of the most dazzling poets writing in Spanish today. In America he shows the vivifying power of language, its deep sound and rhythm, its mysterious resonances, without forgetting the real, raising a fresco of a quality that honors his readers. No one can deny this triumph of poetry.