In their continual effort to bring some of the most interesting Latin American literature to the English-speaking world, Cardboard House Press releases yet another instance of powerful, important poetry with a political resonance. As it is customary in the publisher’s catalog, the slim book comes as a bilingual edition, translated accurately by Roberto Echevarren and Donald Wellman.
Argentine writer Néstor Perlongher (1949-1992) was one of the major poets arising during the early 1980s, a time when the Argentine military “disappeared” thousands of people who opposed or seemed to oppose its dictatorship. Perlongher, a gay man, escaped to São Paulo, Brazil, where he graduated from the University of Campinas with a master’s degree in social anthropology and was appointed professor in 1985. He was the founder and an instrumental activist for the Frente de Liberación Homosexual (the Homosexual Liberation Front), one of the world’s first LGBT organizations. He died in São Paulo of AIDS in 1992.
Douglas Messerli, Hyperrallergic
Cardboard House Press has a reputation for both finely crafted books and exquisite translations from the Spanish, not to mention a team of editors that spans the globe. For an English-only poetry scholar, their editions are essential to an understanding of the Latin and South American landscape.
In their latest release, Cadavers (2018), translated by the Uruguayan poet, Roberto Echavarren and Donald Wellman, Néstor Perlongher (the Argentinian poet and anthropologist) immediately sets the tone for his long poem by creating a tapestry of geography, scene, and image via “clusters,” each containing only a handful of lines, cohered not only by the haunting refrain There Are Cadavers/Hay Cadáveres, but a fervent confrontation with the Argentine dictatorship of the 1970s.
Rosemarie Dombrowski, Angel City Review
The skeletons won’t be kept in the closet. They’re hidden everywhere, haunting everything: “Under the brush / In the scrub / Upon the bridges / In the canals / There Are Cadavers.” So begins Néstor Perlonger’s masterpiece Cadavers — newly released in a beautiful Spanish/English bilingual edition from Cardboard House Press, translated by Roberto Echavarren and Donald Wellman— a restless queer elegy for victims of Argentina’s Dirty War.
Noah Fields, Anomaly.
Every language has its cadavers, and it must come to terms with it—be it through art, politics or any other medium.
Serrgio Sarano, Asymptote