Jesse Lee Kercheval is a poet, writer and translator whose translations include El puente invisible/ The Invisible Bridge: Selected Poems of Circe Maia. She is the Zona Gale Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Eight years before Sylvia Plath published Ariel, the Uruguayan poet Idea Vilariño released Poemas de Amor, a collection of confessional, passionate poetry dedicated to the novelist Juan Carlos Onetti. Both of her own merit and as part of the Uruguayan writers group the Generation of ’45—which included Onetti, Mario Benedetti, Amanda Berenguer, and Ida Vitale—Vilariño is an essential South American poet, and part of a long tradition of Uruguayan women poets.
Vilariño and Onetti’s love affair is one of the most famous in South American literature. Poemas de Amor is an intense book, full of poems about sexuality and what it means to be a woman, and stands as a testament to both the necessity and the impossibility of love. This translation brings these highly personal poems to English speaking audiences for the first time side-by-side with the original Spanish language versions.
A bilingual collection, The Invisible Bridge/El Puente Invisible gathers many of the luminous, deeply philosophical poems of Circe Maia, one of the few living poets left of the generation which brought Latin American writing to world prominence.
esse Lee Kercheval writes with wit, vivid language, and devastating honesty in these autobiographical poems. Tracing the timelines of her life forward and backward, she offers a moving examination of the role of family and the possible/probable/hoped for existence of God—and how our perceptions of the divine can be transformed from a kindergartner’s dyslexically scrawled “doG loves U” to the ever-present but oft-ignored Dog Angel of the title. Ranging from a cross-country drive to bury her mother’s ashes at Arlington National Cemetery, to a family vacation in Spain, to an imagined final exam given by her children, Kercheval explores the vagaries of love, loss, faith, grief, and joy with a calm, convincing wisdom that permeates this resonant and wonderful collection.