Now available for pre-order, Witness: The Selected Poems of Mario Benedetti (translated by Louise B. Popkin, with an introduction by Margaret Randall) is the culmination of a project begun many years ago in collaboration with the author. Here is what the publisher and a number of writers and friends of the poet’s, are saying:
“Witness is the first collection of Benedetti’s poetry in English translation to draw on thirty of his published collections from 1948-2009, thereby presenting the full range of his poetic voice. Benedetti (1920-2009) is regarded as one of Latin America’s most important writers of the 20th century.
“Louise Popkin, who spends long periods in Uruguay, knew the poet, heard him read, consulted with him, and has studied his work and entorno, gives us the first really satisfying, accurate, and deeply-felt English translations that capture Mario’s poetic voice throughout all its periods and range. She pays attention to local usage and brilliantly recreates the spoken quality of these poems. Popkin’s is a true labor of love, but it is much more that that. I believe Mario, at long last, would be thrilled. I am.”–Margaret Randall
“It gives me great pleasure to see the work of one of the great poets of our language made available to U.S. readers in Louise Popkin’s wonderful translations. Her carefully crafted adaptations of Mario’s poems convey all the wisdom, nostalgia and irony that inform his verses in language that retains their musicality. Anyone who has translated poetry will appreciate what an accomplishment that represents.”–Claribel Alegría
“This collection of Mario Benedetti’s poems, translated into beautiful English by Louise Popkin–a close friend of the author’s and an insightful interpreter of his work–deserves our grateful admiration. The reader who savors each poem, each strophe, each line and image, can truly delight in these texts by our great poet, rendered with love, sensitivity and exceptional skill by a first-rate translator.”–Sylvia Lago, President, Fundación Mario Benedetti