Where Words Like Monarchs Fly brings Mexican poetry to the fullness of its senses in English with all the music of the meaning, richness of metaphor and humour. It introduces Jose Emilio Pacheco, Gabriel Zaid, Homero Aridjis and Elsa Crossborn in the thirties and the fortiesalong with the fifties generation they have inspired. Covering twenty-five years of development and ten poets in full representation by each, this book is essential for understanding the immediacies of new Mexican verse. In translation by prize-winning Canadian poets Kate Braid, Sylvia Dorling, George McWhirter, Caroline Davis Goodwin, Karen Cooper, Arthur Lipman, Iona Whishaw and Raul Peschiera, the English versions have already attracted a wide readership in The New Republic, Modern Poetry in Translation, PRISM international, London Magazine and others.
George McWhirter, poet, prose writer and translator, arrived at his home in Vancouver from Belfast, via Barcelona and Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1968. His first book, Catalan Poems (Oberon Press) shared the first Commonwealth Poetry Prize with Chinua Achebe in 1972; at the University of British Columbia he won its first Killam Prize for mentoring in 2005; in 2007, he was appointed Vancouver’s first Poet Laureate. His novel, Cage, was awarded the Ethel Wilson Prize for fiction in the same year he received the FR Scott Prize for Translation with The Selected Poems of José Emilio Pacheco (New Directions, 1987). His recent books of verse are The Incorrection (Oolichan Books, 2007), The Anachronicles (Ronsdale Press, 2008). Blackbird Theatre produced his version of Euripides’ Hecuba at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre in 2007, and his translation of Homero Aridjis’ Poemas solares/Solar poems will appear from City Lights, San Francisco, in the spring of 2009.