An Interview with Virginia Lucas by Jesse Lee Kercheval

Virginia Lucas (Monteviedo, Uruguay, 1977) is a poet, editor, and literature professor. Her books include the poetry collections Épicas marinas (Artefato, 2004) and No es de acanto la flor en piedra (Lapsus, 2005), and the anthologies Orsai: género, erotismo y subjetivid-ad (Pirates, MVD, 2008) and Muestra de cuentos lesbianos (Trilce, 2010). She is Literature Director of the National Office of Culture (with the Uruguyuan Ministry of Education and Culture) and Research Coordinator of Queer Studies Montevideo.
JLK: Is there anything you would like to tell readers about your poetry or the poems in your forth-coming book Amé. RICA. TU VALOR DE CAMBIO/Ah.Me. RICH. Ah: YOUR EXCHANGE VALUE?

VL: The texts included in the book were a necessity. They take as their starting point the horror of human efforts to survive and they encountered continuity and strength in exactly that, the beauty of human otherness. In that place: the translator.

JLK: Is there anything you would like to tell readers outside Uruguay bout Uruguayan poetry, es-pecially the poetry written by other women poets?

VL: Uruguayan poetry written by women, still, as in many well-known countries, needs to be made more visible. Uruguayan poetry written by women is intelligent, dialogic, human and profound. It makes a fence across time. It communicates that poetry also belongs to poets. It makes women poets speak.

JLK: Are there any Uruguayan women poets who have influenced your work or you particularly admire?

VL: I admire Ida Vitale, Circe Maia, Marosa di Giorgio, Selva Casal, Mariella Nigro, Susana Soca and Cristina Peri Rossi.
Jesse Lee Kercheval is a 2016 NEA in Translation Fellow and is the author of fourteen books including the poetry collection Cinema Muto, winner of a Crab Orchard Open Selection Award; The Alice Stories, winner of the Prairie Schooner Fiction Book Prize; the memoir Space, winner of the Alex Award from the American Library Association. She is also a translator, specializing in Uruguayan poetry. Her translations include The Invisible Bridge: Selected Poems of Circe Maia and Fable of an Inconsolable Man by Javier Etchevarren. She is also the editor of the anthology América invertida: An Anthology of Emerging Uruguayan Poets. She is currently the Zona Gale Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she directs the Program in Creative Writing.