Lichen Song BridgeLichen

Author, Luis Bravo

Translated by William F. Blair with Pablo Rodríguez Balbontín

Iowa City, December 2014

This collection of poetry is a bilingual edition of Bravo’s original Liquen. As Jill S. Kuhheim writes in the Prologue to Lichen, Bravo loves language; his original poems explore meter and rhyme, and most notably sound. For him poems ultimately achieve their expression through the voice, that is, when vocalized, and in some instances, performed. In Lichen, however, the printed text has special importance as the compact, poetic forms leave space on the page, inviting the silence of contemplation, and even meditation. Meanings are varied and layered in this collection, with poetic allusions to literary, religious, and philosophical themes.


About the Author:

Luis Bravo is a Uruguayan poet, performance poet, essayist, literary critic and professor. He has published eleven books of poetry, two multimedia works, and four books of literary criticism. Titles of recent publications and CDs include Árbol veloz, Liquen, Tamudando, Lluvia, and Areñal:ene topos bilingüese & other sounds. Recent nonfiction works include Voz y palabra: historia transversal de la poesía uruguaya 1950-1973, La pipa de tinta china / Cuadernos carcelarios de Ibero Gutiérrez (2014), and Las islas invitadas: Poesías completa de Julio Inverso (2013). His poems have been translated for anthologies and international journals, in multiple languages including Portuguese, German, Estonian, French, Swedish, English, and Farsi.  He was a resident in the Iowa International Writing Program (2012) and holds a PhD in Iberian and Latin American Studies from the University of Notre Dame. Presently Bravo is a professor of Uruguayan and Latin American Literature at the University of Montevideo.


About the Translators:

William Blair is formerly a hand and microsurgeon who, during his academic career, published over 200 research papers, book chapters, and abstracts, including the textbook Techniques in Hand Surgery. He holds an MFA in Comparative Literature – Literary Translation from the University of Iowa and has participated in the International Writing Program’s Translation Workshop. He has translated María Eugenia Vaz Ferreira’s work extensively. Co-translated and published works include two books of poetry by Vaz Ferreira, Lichen by the Uruguayan poet Luis Bravo, and Great Vilas by the Spanish poet and novelist Manuel Vilas. Pending book publications include a hybrid text and a novel, both authored by Vilas. Translated poetry is pending in various journals, including Literal, Exchanges, and Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry. Blair founded Song Bridge Press in 2013 to promote Spanish language literature in translation, and to nurture emerging writers, poets, and translators.

Pablo Balbontín is a native of Sevilla, Spain, and enjoys a deep appreciation for Spanish language poetry. He is a graduate of the University of Sevilla, where he earned undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Literary Theory, and a graduate degree in Screen Writing. He is presently an MA candidate in Spanish Literature at the University of Iowa, where he is investigating the interrelationships among literature, gaming, and the media in the context of digitalization. His interests include sharing Spanish culture and literature through translation; he has co-translated and published four books of poetry by María Eugenia Vaz Ferreira, Luis Bravo, and Manuel Vilas.

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