In June, I received the sad news that the wonderful Argentinian poet Mirta Rosenberg was very ill. I had just been at the Banff Literary Translation Centre in Canada with Ezequiel Zaidenwerg, her former student and co-author with her of the book Bichos. He sent a message that he had hurried to Buenos Aires and was with her. She died on June 28 in Buenos Aires.
I was bereft. I was late in discovering her work. In 2017, when I was in Buenos Aires for the annual International Book Fair, I had bought a copy of her collected work, El árbol de palabras, and fallen in love with her poetry. She was also a translator, bringing the poetry of Marianne Moore, Louise Glück, and Anne Carson into Spanish. I so wish I could have met her.
So I wanted to honor her here and to have her work, even posthumously, in the Tupelo Quarterly. My thanks to Ezequiel Zaidenwerg for putting this feature together, for Marcelo Cohen for his essay on Rosenberg and her work, and for Robin Myers for the translations of Rosenberg’s poetry.
-Jesse Lee Kercheval
Homage to Mirta Rosenberg
Homage to Mirta Rosenberg
Marcelo Cohen (Buenos Aires, 1951) is a writer and translator. He directed the “Shakespeare by Writers” collection, an edition of Shakespeare’s complete works translated by Latin American writers and has translated numerous books including work by T.S. Eliot, A.R. Ammons, J. G. Ballard, and William Burroughs. Among his works are the novels El oído absoluto and El testamento de O’Jaral.
Robin Myers is a Mexico City-based translator and poet. Recent book-length translations include Lyric Poetry Is Dead by Ezequiel Zaidenwerg (Cardboard House Press), Empty Pool by Isabel Zapata (Editorial Argonáutica), Manca by Juana Adcock (Editorial Argonáutica), Animals at the End of the World by Gloria Susana Esquivel (University of Texas Press, forthcoming), and Cars on Fire by Mónica Ramón Ríos (Open Letter Books, forthcoming).
Mirta Rosenberg (Rosario, Argentina, 1951- Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2019) was a poet and a translator from Spanish to English and French. Her books include: Pasajes (1984); Madam (1988); Teoría sentimental (1994); El arte de perder (1998); El árbol de palabras, obra reunida 1984-2006 (2006); El paisaje interior (2012); Cuaderno de oficio (2016) and, with Ezequiel Zaidenwerg: Bichos, sonetos y comentarios (2017). Her poems have been included in numerous anthologies and translated into English, French and German. She translated and published, among others, poems by Katherine Mansfield, Derek Walcott, Marianne Moore, Hilda Doolittle, James Laughlin, Seamus Heaney and, in collaboration with Daniel Samoilovich, Henry IV by Shakespeare. In 2003, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry and, in 2004, the Konex prize for Literary Translation.