José Natividad Ic Xec – 5 Mayan Glyph Poems – translated by Paul Worley


José Natividad Ic Xec was born in Peto, Yucatán, México. He studied philosophy, education, and Maya-language literature. He is a Professor of Maya language and a literary translator, and publishes cultural journalism at and

Jesús Guillermo Kantún Rivera. Mexican. Archaeologist from the Autonomous University of Yucatan. He works as a professor of Mayan epigraphy at the Faculty of Anthropological Sciences of the UADY. His specialties are lowland Maya epigraphy and iconography. Curator of the temporary exhibition “The visible word. Mayan hieroglyphic writing” (2019-2020) at the Regional Museum of Anthropology, Palacio Canton, of the INAH. In the past he collaborated as a professor at the Yuri Knórosov Centre for Maya Studies of the Russian State University for the Humanities, in Merida, Yucatan. He also runs the Cultura y Lengua Maya Facebook page. 

Paul M. Worley is a settler scholar from Charleston, SC, and Professor of Spanish at Appalachian State University, where he serves as Chair of the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. Co-written with Rita M. Palacios, his most recent book, Unwriting Maya Literature: Ts’íib as Recorded Knowledge (2019), was given an honorable mention for Best Book in the Humanities by LASA’s Mexico Section. He is also the author of Telling and Being Told: Storytelling and Cultural Control in Contemporary Yucatec Maya Literatures (2013; oral performances recorded as part of this book project are available at, and a Fulbright Scholar. Together with Melissa D. Birkhofer, he is co-translator of Miguel Rocha Vivas’s Word Mingas (2021), whose Spanish edition won Cuba’s Casa de las Américas Prize in 2016. He has also translated selected works by Indigenous authors such as Hubert Matiúwàa (Mè’phàà), Celerina Sánchez, Manuel Tzoc (K’iche’), and Ruperta Bautista (Tsotsil).