Bleeding from all 5 Senses by Mario Santiago Papasquiaro, translated by Cole Heinowitz - Winner of the Becker Prize $18.00, ISBN 978-1-945680-31-1
“The raucous energy and desperate inventiveness of Bleeding From All 5 Senses takes on a second life in Heinowitz’s sinuous translations of Papasquiaro. Melding persistent social and emotional urgency, Bleeding from All 5 Senses affectively embodies something vital of our tumultuous world. In a compendium of tones ranging from the slyly humorous to the jarringly serious, Heinowitz renders Papasquiaro’s poems with meticulous care and creativity. Heinowitz conveys the intensity and music of Papasquiaro’s voice in English in such a way that the poet’s language takes on new valences of meaning in both Unitedstatesian and international anglophone contexts. Heinowitz’s translation of Papasquiaro’s roving tonal shifts, idiosyncratic syntax, and mosaic of sociocultural concerns makes a new and useful contribution to contemporary anglophone poetry.”
— Cliff Becker Prize Judges Daniel Borzutzky, Aaron Coleman, and Mani Rao
"I think the illuminating side of his work as a poet is still revealing itself. One merit of his poetry (and one that people may not be aware of) was that which distinguished him from the writers he admired—for example, his ability to portray a particular dimension of the coarseness of urban life (more prominent now than ever) that still hadn’t been expressed in Mexican poetry, despite the achievements of Efraín Huerta, the innovations of Salvador Novo and Renato Leduc, and the creative maneuverings of the Stridentists. Mario Santiago took his role as Mexico City’s flâneur very seriously, and a significant portion of his poetic visions are derived from real experiences. He managed to validate his own field of vision and to offer forth, from that vantage point, the sum of his impressions.”
“For the most reinvigorating poet Mexico has produced in the second half of the twentieth century, poetry is an ‘epidemic of chance’ in which opposed and complementary forces inextricably coexist—images of a lost mythical golden age, urban Mexican orality and the body as a disclosure of its humors, discharges, and tensions, nullifying all rationality to foreground eroticism and love in a state of perpetual verbal implosion.”
—Tulio Mora (from Hora Zero: Los Broches Mayores del Sonido)
Cole Heinowitz is a poet, translator, and scholar of British, Latin American, U.S., and transatlantic literature from the nineteenth century to the present. She is the author of two books of poetry, The Rubicon (The Rest, 2008) and Daily Chimera (Incommunicado Press, 1995), and the chapbook Stunning in Muscle Hospital (Detour Press, 2002). Her book-length study, Spanish America and British Romanticism, 1777-1826: Rewriting Conquest, was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2010. Heinowitz is Associate Professor of Literature at Bard College, where she has taught since 2004.
Mario Santiago Papasquiaro (1953-1998) is the pseudonym of José Alfredo Zendejas Pineda, the poet immortalized as Ulises Lima in Roberto Bolaño’s novel The Savage Detectives. Born in Mexico City, Santiago came of age during a period of acute political repression, artistic censorship, and violations of academic autonomy that culminated in the 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre, in which hundreds of student protesters and bystanders were killed or injured, and over a thousand were arrested. The literary society Santiago encountered when he began writing poems in 1974 was stultifying and conservative. Turning for inspiration to Surrealism, Stridentism, Dada, the Beats, and Latin American avant-gardes such as the Peruvian group, Hora Zero [Zero Hour], Santiago and a handful of friends—among them Chileans Bolaño, Bruno Montané Krebs, and Juan Esteban Harrington, and Mexicans Mara Larrosa, José Peguero, and Rubén Medina—founded the revolutionary poetry movement, Infrarealism. According to Santiago, the Infrarealists were “[r]adical vagabonds, fugitives from the bourgeois university” and state-sanctioned culture. They wrote from the streets, not from drawing rooms and lecture halls. They attacked the institutionalized pieties of intellectual abstraction with raw physicality and psychedelic vision. They spoke the voice of the thief, the addict, the tramp, and the madman, not the voice of Octavio Paz or the PRI. They engaged in what Santiago referred to as “cultural terrorism,” sabotaging poetry workshops, interrupting the readings of prominent literati to declaim their own poems, smashing cocktail glasses, and starting fistfights. In the words of its founders, their aim was “to the blow the lid off the brains of official culture.”