Living in Nicaragua is a world apart from our typical experience in North
America: The sounds alone let you know instantly this place is unique.
You wake to birds that do not just twitter, but screech and trill entire
multi-stanza songs. There are processions with tubas blasting,
dogs always barking somewhere, firecrackers going off for any
excuse of a holiday. And of course, everywhere the vegetative excess
of the tropics, where vines with huge blue flowers don’t just cover
a trellis, but instead the entire side of a house.
Pedro Xavier grew up in Nicaragua, surrounded by family and books.
His grandfather, Pablo Antonio Cuadra, was a poet and intellectual leader
of his time, with books and art in every corner. His mother’s house now
includes Pedro Xavier’s personal library, where he has a desk and pathways
through a collection covering several generations of family obsessions
with reading. The houses they share are surrounded by gardens, patios
with wicker rocking chairs, and, mercifully, fans—it is hot. By midday,
the heat shimmers a golden green.
And then there is a presence of water: fountains, two sea coasts, and one
of the largest freshwater lakes in the hemisphere, existing in constant
contrast to the fierce blaze of the sun. And amidst all this sensual onslaught
are people who embrace even the gringa stranger, who seem to live at
significant levels of passionate engagement, whether personal or political.
In one sense, these poems are snapshots of a particular life in Nicaragua, perspectives on a person who thinks deeply—about everything! Pedro
Xavier has been passionate about putting democracy into action in his county, dedicating many years to that end, with significant disappointments along the way. He is also dedicated to the literary vitality of Nicaragua through his research, his career as an editor, his participation on boards, and of course, his writing This collection of his poems offers a way of reflecting on the family album each of us creates through the daily actions of our lives. - Diane Neuhauser, Translator
Paperback: 90 pages
Publishing date: November 1, 2019
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
Price: $19.60 (paperback) $7.99 (e-book)
Pedro Xavier Solís is a Nicaraguan poet and essayist. He serves on the boards of directors of the Nicaraguan Academy of Language and of the Granada International Poetry Festival. Poesia Reunida (2012) is a selection of his poetry from 1980-2010, and Atlas (2017), his most recent collection, focuses on the eternal political themes of love and war. His work has been translated into Italian, Romanian, and Arabic, along with English in Tides (Mind made Books,
2015) translated by Suzanne J. Levine and Worlds Within and Apart (APAC, 2018) translated by Diane Neuhauser.
Diane Neuhauser has returned to Latin American poetry after a long career as a strategic management consultant for US corporations. She is now translating poetry from Spanish to English, with a special interest in Nicaragua. A doctoral program at Vanderbilt University in Hispanic poetry (many years ago) and recent stays in Central America have given her the impetus to turn to translating. She can be reached at Diane@NeuhauserLeadership.com.