The Brush: Poems

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$17.00  $15.81
Archipelago Books
Publish Date
5.4 X 6.4 X 0.5 inches | 0.2 pounds

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About the Author
Eliana Hernández-Pachón received her BA in Anthropology from Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Her research interests include contemporary Latin American literature and visual art, gender studies, and environmental humanities. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. The Brush, her polyphonic account of the El Salado massacre in Colombia, received the Colombia National Poetry Prize in 2020.

Robin Myers is a Mexico City-based poet and translator. Her latest book-length translations include Bariloche by Andrés Neuman (2023), The Book of Explanations by Tedi López Mills (2022), and Copy by Dolores Dorantes (2022). A 2023 NEA Translation Fellow, Robin's collections of poetry have been published bilingually in Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Spain.
"The narrative unfolds at a slant via three acts . . . in a tone that is at once factual and filled with palpable dread . . . For a poet writing about a catastrophe, using artifice to generate pathos can be difficult, as the reader knows that the events in the book are true. Hernández-Pachón resolves this by animating the forest, who is a compassionate observer, with a distinct persona and all the eccentricities of being a speaking-forest. 'During the concert, / rain is generality. / Every I and every mine / is open sky or moss.'" -- Janani Ambikapathi, Harriet Books

"Powerful and devastating . . . Every word makes a massive impact in this slim, arresting poem." - Emily Tarr, Southern Bookseller Review

"This poignant account of the tragedy still resonates powerfully today, more than two decades after it occurred. 'When what happened happened and they made us watch, it was as if Earth revolved around our eyes, as if space opened up between our eyes, as if lava flow erupted from within.' Breathtaking." -- Leo Boix, Morning Star

"Flowers, bleeding bodies, and all that blooms from itself--we need poetry that sends us directly into this blossoming in all its agony, horror, and beauty. Eliana Hernández-Pachón has given us this with The Brush, a book I want everyone I know to know about." -- CAConrad, author of Listen to the Golden Boomerang Return and You Don't Have What It Takes to Be My Nemesis

"'I want to tell you' says an unnamed woman traveling with Ester in The Brush, but the desire to name horror struggles against the need to survive it. Hernández-Pachón's words at turns circle, allude, describe and pulse with the events and legacy of the massacre at El Salado. This book is stunning, painful, beautiful, horrible, human and full of abundant, rich, throbbing language." -- Jessica Rankin

"A disconcerting calmness rests over this book-length sequence of poems that, in a mere 57 pages, manages to capture the contradictions and harmonies that arise in response to acts of extreme violence. That calmness serves to unsettle the reader and honour the survivors, while placing this event within a wider ecosystem and granting a voice to nature, the one force, perhaps, that can truly offer both understanding and healing." -- Joseph Shreiber, Rough Ghosts

"There is something that literature can do and do very well, and that is act as witness, offering a way to document and acknowledge, to process, and The Brush shines a spotlight on Colombian history perhaps little known across North America, writing on what can't be imagined, but an event that leaves its scar across not only history, but on the lives of those that remain . . . This is a powerful and evocative collection, devastating for its subtlety, and composed with enormous care and unflinching gaze." -- Rob McLennan