Shop

ZUGUNRUHE – Kelly Martínez Grandal [tr. Margaret Randall]

Zugunruhe (a German word used in ethology to describe migration anxiety in animals) was born from a specific image: cemeteries in Miami, where migrants are not buried in their own soil, their own land. This particular face of exile became a book built as a journey: it travels from the voices of people who escaped the war, totalitarian regimes and all sorts of political conflicts to the voices of those who died and now rest in a foreign country. 

Excerpts appear at:

Lunch Ticket

La Libélula Vaga

Animal Sospechoso

Category:

Kelly Martinez-Grandal (tr. Margaret Randall)

Kelly Martinez-Grandal (Cuba, 1980). Poet, essayist, editor and curator of photography. In 1993 her family left their home in Cuba for a new life in Venezuela. There she was awarded a Bachelor Degree in Art History from the Central University of Venezuela (UCV), where she subsequently completed the Master Degree Program in Comparative Literature. Her time at UCV was not limited to her years as student. Upon her graduation, Martinez-Grandal was invited to join the Faculty at the School of Arts. After the escalation of the political crisis in Venezuela, she found herself forced to migrate to Miami, in 2014. Currently, she is part of the Board of Directors of Funcionarte, a non-profit organization aimed to educate on gender violence through literature and arts as a means to empower survivors of domestic violence. Most recently, in 2017 she published Medulla Oblongata (CAAW Ediciones), her first poetry collection. Her work has been included in many anthologies, being the most important 100 mujeres contra la violencia de género (Fudavag Editores, 2014) and Aquí [Ellas] en Miami, Katakana Editores, 2018. Last year she also coordinated and edited Todas las mujeres (fulanas y menganas), a collaboration between Funcionarte Corp and CAAW Ediciones. ------ Margaret Randall (New York, 1936) is a poet, essayist, oral historian, translator, photographer and social activist. She lived in Latin America for 23 years (in Mexico, Cuba, and Nicaragua). From 1962 to 1969 she and Mexican poet Sergio Mondragón co-edited EL CORNO EMPLUMADO / THE PLUMED HORN, a bilingual literary quarterly that published some of the best new work of the sixties. When she came home in 1984, the government ordered her deported because it found some of her writing to be “against the good order and happiness of the United States”. With the support of many writers and others, she won her case in 1989. Throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, she taught at several universities, most often Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Randall’s most recent poetry titles include AS IF THE EMPTY CHAIR / COMO SI LA SILLA VACIA, THE RHIZOME AS A FIELD OF BROKEN BONES, ABOUT LITTLE CHARLIE LINDBERGH, SHE BECOMES TIME, and THE MORNING AFTER: POETRY & PROSE IN A POST-TRUTH WORLD (all from Wings Press). CHE ON MY MIND (a feminist poet’s reminiscence of Che Guevara, published by Duke University Press), and MORE THAN THINGS (essays, from The University of Nebraska Press) are other recent titles. HAYDEE SANTAMARIA, CUBAN REVOLUTIONARY: SHE LED BY TRANSGRESSION was released by Duke in 2015. EXPORTING REVOLUTION: CUBA’S GLOBAL SOLIDARITY was published by Duke in 2017. Two of Randall’s photographs are in the Capitol Art Collection in Santa Fe. She has also devoted herself to translation, producing WHEN RAINS BECOME FLOODS by Lurgio Galván Sánchez and ONLY THE ROAD / SOLO EL CAMINO, an anthology of eight decades of Cuban poetry (both also published by Duke). Red Mountain Press in Santa Fe and The Operating System in Brooklyn have brought out her translations of individual Cuban poets. Randall received the 2017 Medalla al Mérito Literario, awarded by Literatura en el Bravo in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. In 2018 her Time's Language: Selected Poems 1959-2018 came out from Wings Press in a special 450-page hardcover edition complete with chronology and photographs. (All Wings Press books are distributed to the trade by Independent Publishers Group.) Randall's web page is www.margaretrandall.org. She lives in Albuquerque with her partner (now wife) of more than 32 years, the painter Barbara Byers, and travels extensively to read, lecture and teach.

Like those birds who know that in the face of imminent danger, they can only migrate, the body knows when the time to leave has come—even from the chosen land, even from its own cradle. But once far away from home, it will also know that it has never completely left; that the pain of departure and arrival will be the very mortar with which it builds its house, with the very stones it thought it had left behind. Like those birds, like Odysseus in his journey, the poet who sings and regrets and denounces in these pages has crossed seas, has traveled islands, and knows that those seas and those islands do not guarantee arrival to any safe land—only new questions, renewed memories, a canvas where her own and others’ experiences are entwined in a net that will be her past and her future.

Mercedes Roffé

Zugunruhe scrutinizes the fracture that departing one’s home, one’s homeland, leaves in the soul. In our times, sullied with the illusion of progressive materialism, migration is lived as escape and abandonment at the same time, as inevitable destiny and as sin that provokes, in the depths of the conscience, a scathing regret: “... you’ll clean shit./ You will sell your Lord for a plate of lentils/ but I made my home here, clean.” In the future, when everything has happened to us, when that which happens does not come from us, they will search in the ruins of memory to understand how such a coexistence between fatalism and hope was possible. And they will see, I suppose, that we were deceived by an illusory destiny (“Kerouac’s country no longer exists”), and we remain in the middle of the sea, immersed in an imperishable anguish, in zugunruhe: “War came first,/ its cheating horse at Troy,/ the sea came later./ I could not know the sea’s vastness,/ all the islands not my own…”

Francisco Larios

If the term zugunruhe implies migration and anguish (anguish of moving, anguish of remaining), Kelly Martínez-Grandal’s book takes this concept a step further, not because there aren’t different forms of anxiety within it: departing, arriving, turning back, returning… as if it were about that famous installation by Louise Bourgeois; but, because Kelly adds biography to movement, a documentary and affective, intimate portrait, from one who knows what she is talking about. And she has not only written this book: meticulous, critical, with a certain narrative agón, but she has left all of these places at the same time that she has returned to them, just as birds do when the first frost goes through them.

Carlos A. Aguilera

Description

Zugunruhe (a German word used in ethology to describe migration anxiety in animals) was born from a specific image: cemeteries in Miami, where migrants are not buried in their own soil, their own land. This particular face of exile became a book built as a journey: it travels from the voices of people who escaped the war, totalitarian regimes and all sorts of political conflicts to the voices of those who died and now rest in a foreign country. 

But it is also a book about the author´s journey, about her double migration. The cities where she lived, her own personal Miami, the death of her father were the materials to compose a bricolage in which memory and identity become diluted. It is mostly a question about migration itself, not only as border crossing but as life as a constant process of arrivals and departures.

Excerpts appear at:

Lunch Ticket

La Libélula Vaga

Animal Sospechoso

 

 

f
1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680 chapterone@qodeinteractive.com
Free shipping
for orders over 50%