Mario Meléndez – excerpts from Waiting for Perec – translated by Jeremy Paden


Mario Meléndez (Linares, Chile, 1971) is the author of six collections of poems: Notes for a Legend, Underground Flight, The Paper Circus, Death’s Days Are Numbered, Waiting for Perec, and The Loneliness Wizard. While living in Mexico City in the 90s and early 00s, he oversaw the Latin American Poets Series published by Laberinto ediciones and he served as editor for various anthologies of Chilean and Latin American poetry. Between 2012 and 2018, he lived in Italy. In 2013 he received the President’s Medal from the Don Luigi di Liegro International Foundation for his poetry. Between 2014 and 2016, he edited two anthologies of Latin American poetry for Raffaelli editore, based in Rímini. In 2018 he returned to Chile to serve as the Editor in Chief of the Vicente Huidobro Foundation and run the literary journal Revista Altazor.

Jeremy Paden is professor of Latin American literature at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky and he is on faculty at Spalding University’s low-residency MFA. He has published various articles on colonial Latin American literature and contemporary Latin American poetry. He is a literary translator and has published translations of contemporary Argentine, Colombian, Chilean, Mexican, and Spanish poetry. He is also a poet who has published three chapbooks and two full-length collections. The latter two are: world as sacred burning heart (3: A Taos Press, 2021) and the bilingual Self-Portrait as an Iguana (Valparaíso USA, 2021). Self-Portrait, written originally in Spanish, was named co-winner of the inaugural Poeta en Nueva York Prize. His bilingual and illustrated children’s book Under the Ocelot Sun/Bajo el sol del ocelote (Shadelandhouse Modern Press, 2020), on the migrant caravan crisis, won a 2020 Campoy-Ada Prize awarded by the North American Academy of the Spanish Language for Children’s Literature in Spanish.