Disappearance without absence: Book Launch on National Poetry Day

Disappearance without absence: Book Launch on National Poetry Day


In my role as Associate Editor at Waterloo Press, I was honoured this year to help publish a book of profoundly moving poems, Disappearance without absence/Desapariencia no engaña, by Néstor Ponce, exquisitely translated by Max Ubelaker Andrade. Written in honour of the ‘disappeared’, the book is a testament to those thousands of individuals targeted for death and erasure by Argentina’s military junta (1976-1983). Now on the shelf of every school and library in Argentina, its publication is part of an ongoing process of national and international remembering, mourning and justice-seeking. Thanks to the Sur Programme of the Argentine government, Waterloo Press is proud to enable English-speaking readers to share in this vital witnessing.

I am also very grateful to Elspeth Broady, a family friend and the Secretary of the Brighton and Hove Freedom From Torture Supporters Group, for offering to co-host the book’s Brighton launch in the Chapel Royal on Sept 28th – which, as we discovered later, just so happens to be National Poetry Day, with the theme of ‘Freedom’. It’s becoming an international local event already: Elspeth and her husband Chris Sevink are generously hosting Néstor Ponce on a visit from France, where he is a leading Latin American Studies scholar, while my friend Helen Dixon, who lived in Nicaragua for twenty-two years, has kindly agreed to contribute her considerable linguistic, cultural and political acumen to the event. Please join us all for wine, nibbles, a bilingual poetry reading, discussion and Q&A. I just *so* wish Max could come – but unfortunately the local crowd-sourcing just couldn’t stretch to a ticket from Massachusetts, where Max, a Borges scholar I had the pleasure of meeting at the Blind Creations conference, teaches Latin American Studies. But this is just the beginning of the book’s journey out into the world, and hopefully I will have the chance to hear Max read his stunning translations at some point in the future.

Thursday Sept 28th, Chapel Royal
164 North St, BN1 1EA Brighton
6:30-9 pm
Free entry, wine and nibbles, with suggested donations*

*Suggested donations: £6 entry to include a glass of wine.
All profit to benefit the work of Freedom From Torture.

Should you not be able to attend, the book is also available from me directly, or on Amazon.

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