Immanent Visitor: Selected Poems of Jaime Saenz, translated with Kent Johnson, University of California Press


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“Bolivian Jaime Saenz is an amazing find, one of the most dynamic, exciting and unpredictable poets I’ve seen translated into English in a long time. Kent Johnson and Forrest Gander have gathered long and short poems that unfold layer upon layer of fantastic, innovative, and symbolic language…. The result is a poetry that escapes categorization because Saenz’ ghostly presence weaves itself one step ahead of the reader. As the first translation of his work into English, this book deserves wide recognition.”
-Bloomsbury Review

Immanent Visitor “barrels along, sweeping the reader with it…. I believe this is an important book which… offers a radically different experience from that to which we are used in the Anglo-American tradition”.
–Tony Frazer, Shearsman (England)

“Saenz’s lifelong meditation on death was not some shabby postmodern excursus on the vacancies of subjectivity. The absence of the imagination must itself be imagined, Wallace Stevens proposed, and imagining that absence in all its rich and mysterious forms, was Saenz’s errand, one he pursued with ardent passion…. His short lyrics snap with rapid transitions and mix colloquial and arcane language…. Saenz veers jaggedly and happily from reticence to flamboyance, from supplication to swagger…. In typical poéte maudit fashion, Saenz pits his heroic self-abasement against the timidity and complacency of bourgeois life.”
- John Palattella,
Bookforum

“These are persuasive, delectable translations of poems which are a game of paradox, of logic and illogic, of illusion and disillusion in which words speed and spill across the page, their precipitous ease and swoosh seeming to suggest that the poet is casting out in so much language, so much meaningless prattle and clatter, and finally, in that very expanse, that near nonsensical noise, locating, however temporarily, a perch, a place to alight, a moment of contemplation that can exist only within such serious, playful complexity.”
-Jen Hofer,
No Magazine

"The appearance of Jaime Saenz in English is a major event for all of us who live and write within that language. In this authoritative selection and translation by Forrest Gander and Kent Johnson, he enters the imagination of North America-a later but crucial member of the pantheon of west coast South American poets that includes Neruda, Vallejo, Huidobro, and Parra. The poetry is relentless and the genius of the man who made it inescapable. For a poetry of awakening and terror, this is the place to look."
-Jerome Rothenberg

"These poems in translation are a revelation, a masterful conceit . . . .The poems and the reader are both kept off balance until they levitate into a trance, el momento of fusion where poetry begins. It is a great thing to witness this translation as event, the coming of Saenz into a new 'us,' a moment when poetry can be read as 'ours,' meaning 'north and south connected.' This is nuestra poesía."
-Cecilia Vicuña