Ricardo Blanco's Blog

The Dead

  The Dead by María Rivera (Mexico)   Here they come the decapitated, the amputees, the torn into pieces, the women with their coccyx split apart, those with their heads smashed in, the little ones crying inside dark walls of… Read More

Ballad of the House

    Last Tuesday saw the launch in Bogotá of Rómulo Bustos Aguirre’s Collected Poems (1988-2013), La pupila incesante. The event was introduced by another fine Colombian poet, Darío Jaramillo Agudelo. Both poets feature in my forthcoming anthology,… Read More

Creative Nonfiction

  I find a great Paris Review interview in ‘The Art of Nonfiction’ series from  a couple of years ago with Geoff Dyer, who begins by disagreeing with the parameters of his own interview, interrupting the interviewer as follows: INTERVIEWER… Read More

Epic poetry and canine aficionados

Posting a few pictures as a last offering from my trip to Colombia: The lettering on the banknote displayed in the wall graffiti suggests that a thousand poor die for each 1000 peso banknote in the idle republic… Read More

The Question

  THE QUESTION  by Tom Pow     How do people live? He was standing two in front of me in W. H. Smith’s and what he wanted to know was, How do people live? He asked the… Read More

Brief from Nicaragua

At four in the morning there is a noise of riotous celebration from the nearby square, but I cannot be bothered to make it to the balcony to discover its source. Then there is an hour or so… Read More

The resentment and insecurity of the poet

  Pedro Serrano points me towards an article in the current New York Review of Books, about William Carlos Williams. In it, Adam Kirsch mentions Williams’ sense – whether it was true or not – of having been… Read More

Nicanor Parra at ninety-seven

Two weeks ago the Cervantes prize, Spain’s loftiest literary honour, was bestowed on the Chilean poet Nicanor Parra. Parra, at ninety-seven years of age, is without doubt the most influential of living South American poets. His career as… Read More

Radio Bards and an Homuncular Misfit

Few things are quite so guaranteed to make me come out in a rash as a BBC Radio 4 poet blathering on in rhyming couplets while I’m attempting to stir the porridge. This morning I almost fell over… Read More

Translation

  All your stories are about yourself, she said, even when they seem to be about other people. I was not going to deny this, nor give her the pleasure of being right. So I quoted Proust, who said that… Read More

Who do we think we are?

  The birthday card I received from Mrs Blanco this year shows a partly hidden figure reclining in an armchair, cats in attendance, dwarfed by an enormous bookcase that, it is suggested, continues into the vastness of infinity…. Read More

The Black Heralds

There are some books – and some poets – you come to when you are no longer young, but with a sort of recognition, as though they were travelling companions with whom you share a memory or two,… Read More