This bilingual collection of forty-four poems presents English readers with their first chance to encounter the phenomenon of Roberto Bolaño as a poet: his own preferred and strongest literary persona. (When asked, ‘What makes you believe that you’re a better poet than a novelist?’ Bolaño replied, ‘The poetry makes me blush less.’) These poems – intimate, moving, witty and wide-ranging – are as diverse in form as his fiction and will offer the reader equal delight. Expertly translated from the original Spanish by Laura Healy, this is as an opportunity to encounter a poetic voice like no other; a voice hailed by Susan Sontag as ‘the real thing and the rarest’.
‘They radiate the audacity of intellect, as well as the cruelty of vision, that have won their author a devoted following.’ Boston Review
‘They [the poems] echo his brilliant but out-of-control authorial persona, with its high-speed, self-conscious verbal play, and those echoes will be more than enough to lead fans of his prose straight to his verse.’ Publisher’s Weekly
‘Poems that unscroll like black-and-white movies or occupy the page like a tattoo, art and life entwine, and all is sinister and precious.’ Booklist