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Impossible Loves

Dario Jaramillo

Translated by Richard Gwyn

Cover of Impossible Loves by Dario Jaramillo
10% off all versions
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, Latin American, Spanish and Catalan, Translation
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (120 pages)
(Pub. Oct 2019)
9781784108618
£12.99 £11.69
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(Pub. Oct 2019)
9781784108625
£10.39 £9.35
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  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • Shortlisted for The Premio Valle Inclán Award for Spanish Translation 2020

    In his poems Darío Jaramillo relentlessly interrogates time, ecstatically celebrates life lived, and mourns its transience.


    This is the first substantial sampling in English of Colombia's greatest living poet, and it draws on five decades' work. Time has been Jaramillo's key theme, all the more urgently so as he grows older. Impossible and lost loves provide another theme, as do the effects of violence done to the body. Absences and disappearances are part of the mix, all underpinned by nostalgia for an idealised, rural childhood. Most of the poems lack a specific geography, though others shift between Bogotá, where the poet lives, the tropical Antioquia of his childhood, and a nameless place peopled by the ghosts of dead friends.

    Jaramillo also takes time to interrogate the humble mango, the rubber tree, the domestic cat. Paradox lies at the core of his work: an only child, the poet's 'brothers' are often wild, chaotic characters, given to excess and self-destructive behaviour. 'I like to hallucinate in words,' he said when he won the National Poetry Award in 2017.

    The book includes a full afterword by the award-winning poet and writer Richard Gwyn, translator of the celebrated anthology The Other Tiger: Recent Poetry from Latin America (2016). This is a dual-language edition.
    Dario Jaramillo
    Darío Jaramillo is one of Colombia's foremost poets and novelists, widely acclaimed for re-energising the love poem, and winner of his country's National Poetry Prize (2017). He is the recipient of the International Federico García Lorca Prize (2018) for a lifetime contribution to Spanish literature. ... read more
    Richard Gwyn
    Richard Gwyn is the author of The Vagabond's Breakfast (Wales Book of the Year, 2012) and The Blue Tent (2019). As a translator from Spanish, his anthology The Other Tiger (2016) has introduced a new generation of Latin American poets to readers of English. Author photo credit: Daniel Mordzinski ... read more
    Awards won by Richard Gwyn Short-listed, 2020 The Premio Valle Inclán Award for Spanish Translation (Impossible Loves)
    'This dual language collection, full of witticisms and lyrical meditations on everyday life, showcases one of the greatest living poets from Latin America... Gwyn's selection, from a poet who's career spans five decades, shows Jaramillo at the height of his powers.'

    Leo Boix, The Poetry Review


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