Hugh Hazelton, translator
Cuerpo amado/Beloved Body
poems by Nela Rio
translated by Hugh Hazelton
The most striking moments in Rio’s collection redraw the woman-poet’s trauma in her own terms and, in so doing, reclaim her “beloved body.” This act of reclaiming is, as we might well imagine, extraordinarily difficult; it involves nothing less than forging a new language ... Rio has “written the body” in fierce, memorable, uncompromising terms.
— Jeanette Lynes, Atlantic Books Today
(Read the whole review here)
The poems are unabashedly first person narrative, recount first meeting and celebrate the first flush of physical love and its many aspects; but giving a sense of the increasing intimacy, rather than being purely descriptive; and being allusive, rather than coy.
For anyone who has suffered an illness requiring drastic surgery, or for anyone who has had to watch a loved one suffer, this book can be both painful, in the sharpness of the memories it provokes, and, in its sharing, cathartic. The poems, overall, are as much about being the, at times bewildered, recipient of love as about loving ...
— Sam Smith, New Hope International Review (UK)
(Read the whole review here)
Cuerpo amado is an original, courageous work that frames the reader’s gaze within an historical perspective: the recognition of breast cancer and the struggle in facing the pain and physical transformation involved in the illness. Instead of working with the clichéd lexicons of therapy, religion, or journalism, however, Nela Rio never loses the appealing thread of language that shuns conventional treatment of such contemporary themes. By forcing language to break through its most obvious forms, the female protagonist who lives through the love affair, the subsequent illness, and the reunion with her lover exercises a special magnetism: that of being herself, of opening herself to expectation and fear, to the force and immediacy of the hand that caresses, and to the pain of the mirror.
— from the Prologue
Dr. Gladys Ilarregui, Fundación Cultural Iberoamericana
University of Delaware
“What is most admirable about Cuerpo amado/Beloved Body is the refined lyricism with which it deals with themes that are seemingly incompatible: aging, love, breast cancer, the questioning of identity, and the sense of self-worth. Written with a profusion of extraordinary images of eloquent eroticism, Cuerpo amado/Beloved Body is a challenging invitation to celebrate our bodies, our love, and our lives.”
— Dr. Sintia Molina, St. Francis College, New York
“This is a book that is lived through over and over as it is read. It transforms our bodies into the beloved body, in which time, rather than being a threat, is the space for love. It is a fascinating collection of poems that both includes and definitively inhabits us.”
— Dr. Marta Zabaleta, Middlesex University, London, England
“Hugh Hazelton’s inspiring translation of the moving poetry of Cuerpo amado / Beloved Body is sensitive to the very delicate subject of cancer which the author, Nela Rio, has captured with love and tenderness. This is an important contribution to literature and is of particular significance for women. One is forever changed by Nela Rio’s poetic world.”
— Elizabeth Gamble Miller, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
About the Author
Nela Rio is an internationally-recognized Argentine-Canadian poet and fiction writer. Born and raised in Argentina, and a Canadian citizen since 1977, Nela Rio is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American literature at St. Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick. Her first two poetry books, En las noches que desvisten otras noches (Editorial Orígenes) and Aquella luz, la que estremece (Edicionea Torremozas), were both published in Spain. Her poetry and fiction has received awards in eleven international writing competitions. Broken Jaw published her books Túnel de proa verde / Tunnel of the Green Prow (1998) and During Nights that Undress Other Nights / En las noches que desvisten otras oches (2003), translated by Elizabeth Gamble Miller, in bilingual Spanish to English editions.
Hugh Hazelton is a poet and translator who specializes in the work of Latin American writers living in Canada. He co-edited, with Gary Geddes, and was principal translator of Compañeros: An Anthology of Writings About Latin America (Cormorant). His other translations include The Better to See You (Cormorant), Jade and Iron: Latin American Tales from Two Cultures (Douglas & MacIntyre), Headstrong All the Way Round (Graff), and Nela Rio’s Túnel de proa verde/Tunnel of the Green Prow (Broken Jaw). He teaches Spanish translation and Latin American civilization at Concordia University, Montreal. His poetry book+CD, antimatter, was published in 2003 with Broken Jaw Press.
Cover painting: “Cuerpo amado” (Beloved Body), inspirada por el poemario/ inspired by the poems, acrílico sobre papel/ acrylic on paper, 16 cm x 24 cm, colección privada/ private collection, © 2001 Ana María Pavela, Montréal QC
March 2002 / 8.5” x 5.5” / 112 pp / poetry (BISAC: POE011000, POE012000)
Bilingual edition: Spanish to English
Broken Jaw Press
ISBN 1-896647-81-2 (tp) / $17.95
BJP eBook 37, ISBN 1-896647-82-0 (PDF)
“Art, Identity and Power in Women Works from Latin America” (SPAN 371) @ Kenyon College, Gambier OH, USA
21 March 2002: “Poetry Through Cultures” World Poetry Day group reading, Legislative Assembly Building, Fredericton NB
22 March 2002: with Hugh Hazelton, translator @ Gallery Connexion, Fredericton NB
26 June 2002, 6:30 pm: @ Canning House, 2 Belgrave Square, London, England
4 July 2002: CEISAL 2002: “Cruzando Fronteras en America Latina”, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
29 Sept 2002: Word on the Street Halifax, Pier 20, Halifax NS
17-19 October 2002: American Literary Translators Association conference, Embassy Suite, Chicago
13 April 2004, 7-10 pm: lecture Nela Rio @ Gore Center, South College Av, University of Delaware, Newark DE, USA
14 April 2004, Nela Rio lecture featuring her books Túnel de proa verde / (2nd edition) and Cuerpo amado / Beloved Body (Broken Jaw Press, 2002). Villanova University, Villanova, PA.