Pushcart Prize Nomination for “Knee on Dirt”

8 Feb

It’s very encouraging to be nominated for a Pushcart, but it’s a double blessing when it’s a nomination of a translation. I got word on Saturday that The Arkansas International nominated my translation of “Knee on Dirt” by Oriette D’Angelo for a Pushcart Prize. I didn’t even know that translations could be nominated, so this was a wonderful surprise for me.

My passion for translating comes from the desire to bring more exposure to important poetic voices from South America. Oriette D’Angelo is one of those essential, important voices! This Pushcart nomination provides the opportunity to shed more light on Oriette D’Angelo’s work, and for that I am incredibly grateful.

The poem “Knee on Dirt” comes from Oriette’s collection “Cardiopatías,” which I’ve translated and am in the process of finding a publisher. It derives it’s title from the directive in Spanish, “Rodilla en Tierra” which is what Chavez coerced the Venezuelans to do to show subjugation to his regime, equating submission with patriotism. Bringing the poem across from Spanish into English adds other timely dimensions to the speaker’s words and symbols.

Here’s a link to “Knee on Dirt” from The Arkansas International’s website: https://www.arkint.org/oriette-dangelo

Thank you, Arkansas International, for giving this poem a place to live, and for this meaningful honor. I’m delighted and eternally grateful.

Please let me know what you think of this poem. I love comments!

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