In world as sacred burning heart, Jeremy Paden offers a collection of poems set in Colonial Latin America that weaves together three strands. There are prose poems about Captains like Columbus, Cortés, and Las Casas that play with the language and syntax of sixteenth-century chronicles. These poems use irony to interrogate the official story. The second strand is ekphrastic poems on maps, on quipus, on Aztec featherwork mosaics, and other cultural objects. The third strand is poems of resistance and poems of coming into knowledge. To live in the American hemisphere is to live in a colonial state. These poems examine and interrogate that legacy. They respond to the self-aggrandizing myths the Western world tells itself about its own past. This collection argues that America (North and South) is a palimpsest, a layered story, born out of colonial occupation and resistance. Ultimately, these poems ask two urgent questions: can we live with “the madness/of finally knowing who we are?” and “how do we sing a song that remembers the world into wholeness?”
Meet the Author
Born in Milan, Italy, Jeremy was raised in various southern states of the United States of America, in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. On his mother’s side he is of Puerto Rican descent. He completed his PhD in Spanish at Emory University and is Professor of Spanish and Latin American Literature at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. He is also on faculty at Spalding University’s Low-Residency MFA. He is the author of three chapbooks of poems: Broken Tulips; ruina montium; and prison recipes. He has also translated two full-length collections of poems from Spanish to English: Carlos Aldazábal’s A Stone to the Chest (Valparaïso USA, 2019); and Alï Calderón’s The Correspondences (Valparaïso USA, 2020). He collaborated with the illustrator Anne Hermosilla and co-translator Oswaldo Estrada to publish Under the Ocelot Sun/Bajo el sol del ocelote, a bilingual, illustrated poem about the Central American migrant caravans that won a Campoy-Ada Prize for Spanish language children’s literature from the North American Academy of Spanish Language. His most current book is world as sacred burning heart.