Zurita Highlights


From a skywritten poem by Raúl Zurita

On September 26, 2011, Raúl Zurita read in the Hagstrum Room, along with his translator Anna Deeny.

Listen here to Zurita’s reading, archived by UniVerse of Poetry and WBEZ Chicago Amplified.

Raúl Zurita is among the most celebrated living Latin American poets. Born in Santiago, Chile in 1950, Zurita studied engineering before turning to poetry. His early work was a courageous condemnation of Augusto Pinochet’s 1973 military coup.  During Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973-1990)  Zurita, like many others, was arrested and tortured.  (Many prisoners were murdered.)  After his release, he co-founded a radical art collective, “Colectivo de Acción de Arte,” which used performance to sustain political resistance.  He published a trilogy of books (Purgatory,Anteparadise, and The New Life) and was renowned for his high-energy public performances.  He famously organized skywriting of poetry over New York City and also had the words “Ni Pena Ni Miedo” (Neither Pity Nor Fear) bulldozed in the sands of the Atacama Desert, the site of ancient earth-sculptures. Zurita has received numerous awards and his work has been translated into a dozen languages.  His books in English translation include Anteparadise (translated by Jack Schmitt), Purgatory (translated by Anna Deeny),INRI (translated by William Rowe), and Song for His Disappeared Love (translated by Daniel Borzutzky).  His newest work, “Inscriptions Facing the Sea,” consists of 22 phrases to be inscribed in the cliffs of the north coast of Chile.

Anna Deeny is a translator and Lecturer on History and Literature at Harvard University.


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