Translation Feature: Mexico, Uruguay, Two Poets in Conversation Across Generations – curated and introduced by Jesse Lee Kercheval

Until now, all my editorial features as a translation editor for Tupelo Quarterly have had fairly tight themes. In  TQ 15, “Cities Built from Poems: Poetry of Place” featured poems written about five great cities of the world: Havana, Montevideo, Paris, Moscow, Warsaw.

In TQ 14, the idea for “An (Imaginary) Poetry Reading in Montevideo, Uruguay: A Portfolio of New Writing in Translation” was a night in a bar in Montevideo for typical reading by four Uruguayan poets, from the established to the emerging.

 In TQ 13, “Women in Translation: A Portfolio of New Writing” celebrated National Women’s Translation Month with poetry by seven women poets from Russia, Argentina, Brazil, Sweden, Latvia, Mexico and Guatemala.

The double features in TQ 11 and TQ 12, “An Inheritance of Riches I”  and “An Inheritance of Riches II,” celebrated Uruguayan women poets.

This feature is simply two poets, one from Mexico and one from Uruguay, born nearly 80 years apart. One, Sergio Loo (Mexico City, Mexico, 1982 – 2014) died tragically young, the other, Enrique Ricardo Garet (Montevideo, Uruguay, 1904-1979) did not. But they were both journalists and both poets of the capital cities of their countries whose poems capture their time in their place.

Loo was a prolific Mexican writer at the forefront of contemporary queer poetics. In his poetry collections, novels and film scripts, he documented queer life and his life in Mexico City—his city. Garet, though he lived longer, wrote only one book book of poetry, Paracaídas but is known as a poet of the Montevideo. Paracaídas ambles through his life in Montevideo, paying particularly attention to its cafes and bars.

So as different as their lives are, as their poetic styles are—to me these poems were in conversation with each other. And so my hope is you will read them together, and think about that conversation, and how we, as poets, document the moments and places in our lives.


Read a folio of poems by Sergio Loo, translated by Efraín Velasco & Mark Statman >>


Read a folio of poems by Enrique Ricardo Garet, translated by Adam Giannelli >>