Translated from the Spanish by Keith Ekiss with Sonia P. Ticas and Mauricio Espinoza
104 pages / paperback / $17.00
104 pages / hardcover / $30.00
Eunice Odio published her epic poem The Fire’s Journey (El tránsito de fuego) in 1957, and it is now available in English translation for the first time. A much-neglected masterpiece of 20th-century Latin American poetry, the poem imagines the world as the word of God. Using a mixture of surrealism, narrative, and dialogue, the story follows the journey of Ion, the poet-god who enters the universe to battle the Void, the force of chaos that threatens to cast the world into darkness. Drawing on traditions from Genesis to Paradise Lost, Odio’s The Fire’s Journey is a poem about the sacred power of language and the fate of the poet in the world. Tavern Books will publish the entirety of The Fire’s Journey in four volumes.
Eunice Odio is considered the leading Costa Rican poet of the twentieth century. She was born in the capital of San José in 1919 and began her career reading poems on Costa Rican radio under the pseudonym Catalina Mariel. Famed for her beauty and fierce temperament, she traveled and lived throughout Central America and the United States before settling for much of her life in Mexico City. In addition to her poetry, Odio was the author of short stories and numerous political and cultural essays. She died in Mexico City in 1974.
"Bravo for this extraordinary, timely, and fearless translation of Eunice Odio, Costa Rica’s most distinguished poet. The Fire’s Journey is a singular, highly complex poem of creation, redemption, and personal spirituality. This translation is woven with a rare elegance, and Odio’s sacred voice is as compelling in English as it is in the original. A true achievement."
— Marjorie Agosín