Coimpress
tasks

from a red barn

Víctor Rodríguez Núñez

translated by Katherine M. Hedeen

2020, Perfect Bound Trade Paperback, 5.8" x 7.3"

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Winner of Spain's Alfons el Magnànim Prize in 2013 and published the following year by the prestigious press Hiperión, Víctor Rodríguez Núñez's from a red barn / desde un granero rojo is a compelling companion work and follow-up to the critically acclaimed tasks / tareas, published by co●im●press in 2016. In this book‐length sequence spanning seven sections of eleven poems each, Rodríguez Núñez reaffirms his stature as a globally engaged poet, by turns capably blending colloquial lyricism with an innovative compositional style that opens poems to a plurality of meaning‐making and turns formal conventions inside out, fostering his vital and ongoing interrogation of how identity is actualized in the liminal space between homelands, ideologies, and hegemonic expectations. From this blending, a poetry of resistance emerges, ever at odds with imperialism, neocolonialism, racism, and xenophobia, while challenging and rethinking prevailing notions of otherness. Drawing on her extensive history translating the most revered Latin American poets, Katherine M. Hedeen transports from a red barn to English with a rich, artful translation that epitomizes her two decades mapping the trajectories of Rodríguez Núñez's substantial oeuvre.

Víctor Rodríguez Núñez’s poetry represents a profound renewal of poetic language. It forces us to see that poetry accounts for itself precisely because it accounts for the world.
—Raúl Zurita

from a red barn is simultaneously bodily and abstract, tender and brutal, bucolic and geographic, mnemonic and exilic. Víctor Rodríguez Núñe’s syllable-driven rhythmic syntax and what the brilliant translator Katherine M. Hedeen refers to as “the fluidity of the poetic subject and the plurality of meaning” decenter and defy subjectivity that’s tied to the dominant global order of national, ideological, stereotypical identities. from a red barn speaks one of multiple and multiplying languages of the diasporic selves and worlds. Its voice is solely entwined with translation-tongue, the ultimate language of destabilization, amplified by Hedeen’s powerful translation.
—Don Mee Choi

Víctor Rodríguez Núñez is one of the greatest living poets I know and from a red barn is his magnum opus. Here, he reconfirms his position as a global poet, one who is able to sweep us from his homeland of Cuba to the farms of the American midwest, back and across the world. Read then read again this vibrant and open mythogeography where language is tempered by staggering traversals between time and place. This is an exilic poetics on the move. Cleverly evading mere nostalgia, it prefers to activate what is felt organically through physical space, through mind and body. This is a poet operating at the height of their range, linguistically rich, both ludic and vatic. And the poems sing beautifully in English, a testament to Katherine M. Hedeen whose immersion into Rodríguez Núñez’s aesthetic is absolute and collaborative, an extraordinary act of sensitivity and extra-linguistic perception. from a red barn is a brilliant and deeply illuminating book. There is such nourishment here.
—James Byrne

The imagination of this Cuban, this true poet … stains the darkness of these times with a red squirrel guided by the light … Víctor Rodríguez Núñez doesn’t wait for the arrival of anyone because he was baptized by poetry at birth.
—Juan Gelman