by Felipe Benitez Reyes
translated by Aaron Zaritzky
Press: BOA Editions, Ltd.
Distributed by: Consortium Books and Book Sales
Felipe Benítez Reyes is considered one of the primary figures of Spain's literary Generation X and the contemporary Spanish movement called The Poetry of Experience, though he questions the validity of such labels. One of the most significant contributors to the Spanish Postmodern esthetic, his work speaks, among other things, to issues of voice, persona, and the possibilities of fiction.
Probable Lives, his most highly acclaimed book, won the 1996 National Book Award in Spain, the 1996 National Critics’ Award in Spain, and the City of Melilla International Prize. He has garnered the Ateneo de Sevilla Prize for his novel, Humo (Smoke, 1995), the Ojo Crítico Award from Radio Nacional, as well as the Luis Cernuda Prize and Fundación Loewe Prize. His earlier books of poems can be found in the compilations Poesía 1979-1987 (Poetry 1979-1987) and Paraísos y mundos (Paradises and Worlds, 1996) and his most recent collections of poetry include El equipaje abierto (Open Luggage, 1996) and Escaparate de venenos (The Poison Display, 2000).
Benítez considers himself as much a writer of prose as he is a poet -- in addition to his many books of poems, he has also published numerous novels and collections of short stories. His translation of T.S. Eliot's book, Prufrock and Other Observations, was released in 2000. Felipe Benítez Reyes lives in his hometown of Rota with his wife, the translator Silvia Barbero.
Translator Aaron Zaritzky was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He graduated from the Creative Writing Workshop at Oberlin College (2000) and recently completed a Masters of Fine Arts in Poetry from the University of Arizona (2004). He taught Spanish language at the high school level for two years, and later worked as a language instructor for the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona. The Kennedy Center and Nobel Prize finalist Miguel Mendez have commissioned him to translate work. His co-translation of the lyrics to José Saavedra Iguina’s album Versosreversos (La Desgracia Music 2005) appears with the CD. Zaritzky has read for the literary journal Sonora Review, and he received a Tinker Grant to research Benítez’s use of literary allusion in the Spanish National Library and elsewhere. He is currently ghostwriting a book for his father, and is trying complete his own book of character-poets, none of whom wish to cooperate. He lives in Macon, Georgia with his wife, Yosálida, and their cat, Humo.