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Cover for Sombra en plata

Sombra en plata

poemas / Shadow in Silver: Poems: A Bilingual Edition

Olivia Maciel, Kelly Austin (Translated by)


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In her fourth book of poems, Mexican-born Olivia Maciel lyrically evokes another America. She writes with the critical and contemplative eye of a poet, revealing mystery and beauty in places dark and light, near and far. The richly allusive language of Sombra en plata / Shadow in Silver is a terrain at times steep, fevered, and sensual: a harmony of words scented of earth and sky. Her poems are catalysts for transformation, challenging the reader with a vision of a world where myth and the quotidian are intimately intertwined. Exploring complex and unpredictable landscapes, Maciel is both a guide and fellow traveler on a fascinating journey through memories and emotions. Maciel eloquently draws from both collective and personal histories, and this new bilingual compilation will be a pleasure to turn to again and again.

Praise For Sombra en plata: poemas / Shadow in Silver: Poems: A Bilingual Edition

“Like a photograph revealed in developing solution, beneath the secret of red light, the poetic countenance of Maciel gradually appears and is configured with great clarity in her most recent book, Sombra en plata / Shadow in Silver.”

— Alan E. Smith

“The poetry of Olivia Maciel is profound and complex, moving and tender. It speaks to us of what poetry ought to speak: love, indifference, and nostalgia. This is poetry to read in a quiet voice and meditate upon, a distinct and distinguished voice in the poetry of the Americas.”

— Marjorie Agosín, author of The Light of Desire

An outpouring of nature that makes us feel the true smoothness of the seasons, the colors, the fruits, the bodies. Olivia Maciel's poetry is precise and profound, a motif of eroticism that is illuminated by the very rays of the sun spread upon each verse.”

— Elena Poniatowska

 “Loaded with symbolism and allegorical content. . . . The search for what's fleeting, the capture of elusive moments, the glance toward the point where these make contact with the solidity of the earth: all these elements reappear in the verses of Maciel with sufficient tenacity to convert them, or almost, into a complete poetics.”

— Jorge Frisancho

“This faithful bilingual edition teems with sensual metaphor and arresting imagery.”

— Salwa Jabado

Swan Isle Press, 9780974888118, 160pp.

Publication Date: December 15, 2005

About the Author

Olivia Maciel resides in Chicago, where she is a lecturer in Spanish and Latin American literature at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is the author of Más salado que dulce / Saltier than Sweet, Luna de cal / Limestone Moon, and Filigrana encendida / Filigree of Light, as well as editor of the poetry anthology Astillas de luz / Shards of Light. She is the recipient of the José Martí Literary Award and most recently of ForeWord’s Magazine Silver Award for Filigree of Light in 2002. Kelly Austin is assistant professor of Spanish literature at the University of Chicago.