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Edited by Faride Mereb and translated by Anne Boyer and Cassandra Gillig, Grenade in Mouth: Some Poems of Miyó Vestrini introduces to Anglophone readers the work of one of the vanguard voices of Venezuelan poetry with texts that cover three decades: from the year 1960 to 1990. The book offers a broader spectrum of her poems than ever previously compiled, including previously unpublished texts alongside her best known and most important works.

Critics have called Miyó Vestrini the poet of “militant death.” Vestrini is known, too, as the Sylvia Plath of Venezuela, but if she is a Plath, we think she is one who would have set Ted Hughes on fire. Read three poems from the book via Granta. Learn more about Vestrini and about this important new book here.

Says M. Buna at Hyperallergic: ‘In her writings, death and poetry have their own dark choreography that doesn’t shy away from affirming the stark contradictions at its core — exercises in morbidity also result in the resurrection of a new will to live, in a counter-suicidal impulse, even if it’s only a temporary one. These are whimsical poems that reveal the most familiar domestic settings as designed for eternal sleep. She allows no room for cozy feelings or attachments and no space for empty metaphors or shallow formal experiments — when she refers to men as lizards “who open the covers/and enter./without fresh turmoil/without heat or melancholy/without casting a spell,” she conjures a vivid and unequivocal picture. Intimacies and comforts are peeled off to expose the universe to its bare bone, and replace it with hypercharged particles…’

Grenade in Mouth is one of several new titles in translation available via subscription to Kenning Editions.

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