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Aquella luz, la que estremece /
The Light that Makes Us Tremble

poetry by Nela Rio
Hugh Hazelton, translator into English
95 pp, 5.5 x 8.5, perfect bound tpb
Oct. 2008
ISBN 978-1-55391-066-4
Co-published with Enana Blanca (Montreal)
$20 CDN, $22 US

Introduction by Marjorie Agosín, Wellesley College


Longlisted for the ALTA National Translation Award 2009

The Light That Makes Us Tremble is 'a fascinating presentation of poems' . . . a beautiful exposition of the spirit mind travelling on a journey that is as special a road as anyone would like to travel. The narrative is beautiful, evocative, and devotional. It is an expression of love in its highest spiritual dimension.
—Michael O. Nowlan, The Daily Gleaner, 27 Dec 2008.



Aquella luz, la que estremece, finalist for the VIII Premio «Carmen Conde» de Poesía de Mujeres 1991, was first published in 1992 by Ediciones Torremozas, Madrid. It was launched, with the author present, at the Asociación de Escritores y Artistas Españoles, Madrid. In 1993 it was launched in the USA: in Los Angeles at UCLA; in Dallas in the Metroplex Spanish Literary Series (University of Texas at Arlington, Texas Christian University, Southern Methodist University, and Latin American Studies, SMU International Office, Mundo Cultural Hispano, Dedman College). The book was included in various courses at these universities and also at Canadian universities. Zheyla Heriksen, UCLA at Davis, California, has studied this book and has given several papers at conferences, and has published articles related to it. Hugh Hazelton has several articles published on this subject, especially the chapter "Eros and Thanatos in the Work of Nela Rio" in Latinocanadá.


Aquella luz, la que estremece/The Light That Makes Us Tremble with a full translation from Spanish to English by award-winning translator Hugh Hazelton presents this poetic work in an side-by-side bilingual edition.

The Light That Makes Us Tremble . . . will doubtlessly become a book as essential to the body of Latin American literature as have Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair and César Vallejo’s Trilce, works of deeply innovative poetry . . . Nela Rio is one of the essential voices of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
—Marjorie Agosín, Wellesley College, from the book's Introduction

Rio’s book is an unusual and modern epic, a story that begins as a genesis in a time out of time, and becomes a long erotic poem where the characters exceed human dimensions. Their union is a cosmic event in a luminous world of dreams.
—Edith Jonsson-Devillers

In this book of poetry resonates the echoes of Song of the Songs, and of Genesis, but move us away from the biblical version. Through the sequences of poems we become aware of a passionate relationship that becomes an original celebration of Love and the Word.
—Conny Palacios, Associate Professor of Spanish, Anderson University, Anderson, SC

A unique book of poetry that astonishes by its exquisite but intense eroticism, gathering its sources in indigenous legends, in the classic Song of the Songs, or in modernity. The oblique poetic gaze of Nela Rio reveals itself universal (reveals its universality) on the reflection of the call of love, its response and its uncertainty. An original surrealism fills each line of this book of poetry.
     Un poemario singular, que sorprende por su exquisito pero intenso erotismo, que toma sus fuentes en leyendas indígenas, el clásico Cantar de los cantares o la modernidad. La oblicua mirada poética de Nela Rio se abre universal sobre el espejismo de la llamada amorosa, la respuesta o la incertidumbre. Un original surrealismo impregna cada línea del poemario.
—Juan Ruiz de Torres, Madrid, Spain



Nela Rio is an internationally-recognized Argentine-Canadian author, artist, and arts organizer living in Fredericton where, for many years, she taught Latin American literature at St Thomas University.

Hugh Hazelton won the 2006 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation (French to English). He is a poet, publisher and educator in Montréal whose translations of Nela Rio include the books Túnel de proa verde/Tunnel of the Green Prow and Cuerpo amado/Beloved Body—both published by Broken Jaw Press.


Related Activities
17 October 2008: Presentation @ Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Arte Hispánico, Atlanta, GA, USA

31 Oct 2008, Friday, 4:30–7pm. Book launch: Nela Rio (with Susan James reading from Hugh Hazelton’s English translation), "Interculturality in the Americas: Argentinean-Canadian Poetic Voices" event, Festival of Images and Words 2008. Glendon Hall ballroom, Glendon campus, York University, 2275 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON. www.elcorreo.ca/elcorreo/story

11 Nov 2008, Tuesday, 7:30 pm. Book launch: Nela Rio launches Aquella luz, la que estremece/The Light that Makes Us Tremble & Joe Blades launches from the book that doesn’t close. Café Volver, 5604 avenue du Parc, Montreal, QC.

12 Nov 2008, Wednesday, 4:15 pm: Nela Rio & Joe Blades (publisher) in Hugh Hazelton’s Literary Translation class, Concordia University, Montreal, QC.

12 Nov 2008, Wednesday: Noches de poesia, lectures débutant à 18h00 jusqu’à 20h00. Le Dépanneur Café, 206, rue Bernard Ouest, Montréal Québec H2T 2K4. T 514.271.9357 info@ledepanneurcafe.com
Programme : il semble que le Nouveau-Brunswick visite Montréal ce soir!!! Herménégilde Chiasson (français) et sa traductrice littéraire • Jo-Anne Elder (anglais +) • Nela Rio (espagnol) • Joe Blades (anglais) • Sandra Le Couteur (français) musique et poésie.

12 Nov 2008, 21:40–22:00 h: Poesía libre—Élizabeth Robert reçoit Nela Rio dans le cadre de Poesía libre sur les ondes de Radiocentreville 102,3 FM, Montreal.

18 Feb 2009, 7 pm: Book launch / reading . . . Nela Rio @ 104 Tilley Hall (9 MacAulay Lane), UNB-Fredericton.


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