Ak’abal Translations Win Gabo Prize!

Very grateful to have seven new translations of Humberto Ak’abal’s poetry available at Lunch Ticket Review. Many thanks to judge, Alana Marie Levinson LaBrosse for these kind words:

“These translations are a cutting English in celebration of Akabal’s striking and bitter original. They show more allegiance in their confident and fluid departures than in their fidelity, demonstrating, as the poet himself says, “that god and justice / live in the soul.” There is a fierce and light freedom in these translations, reflected in their simplicity, that also lives in Akabal’s blackbirds, buzzards, and doves who perch and shit the same on cathedrals, palaces, rocks, trees, and fenceposts. Just as the only living prayer to rise in church comes from the trees we hewed into pews, so poetry lives with the tongues of translators who commit to their individual reading of a work. We can try to meet Akabal in English, but what might that mean? Translating an indigenous poet who spurned mainstream accolades from dominant, oppressive languages into yet one more dominant, oppressive language? We can only meet this translator’s Akabal and appreciate how much abides in these translations.”