With his work translated and anthologized around the world, Víctor Terán is the preeminent living poet of the Isthmus Zapotec language of Southern Oaxaca, Mexico. He was born in Juchitán de Zaragoza in 1958. His work has been published extensively in magazines and anthologies throughout Mexico. Since 2000, he has also appeared in anthologies in Italy and the United States (Reversible Monuments, Copper Canyon: 2002; Words of the True Peoples, University of Texas Press: 2005).
A three-time recipient of the national fellowship for writers of indigenous languages, his first book, Diixda; Xieeña (Barefoot Words) was republished in 1997 by Ediciones Bi'cu' Nisa. His books of poetry include Sica ti Gubidxa Cubi (Like a New Sun; Editorial Diana: 1994) and Ca Guichi Xtí' Guendaranaxhii (The Spines of Love; Editorial Praxis: 2003). Terán works as a media education teacher at the secondary level, on the Oaxacan Isthmus.
By Víctor Terán
Translated from the Zapotec and Spanish by David Shook
The Spines of Love collects work from Víctor Terán’s poetic oeuvre for the first time in a trilingual edition: in their original Isthmus Zapotec (an endangered indigenous Mexican language) and in David Shook’s Spanish and English translations.
"The enormous stone that I am,
no one can move it.
But something happens to it,
just one of your glances
and it trembles undone."
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