Ugly Duckling Presse

Spit Temple
Spit Temple

Cecilia Vicuña

translated by Rosa Alcala

| $18 $15

The first overview of the work of this seminal multi-disciplinary artist, SPIT TEMPLE collects texts and transcriptions of Cecilia Vicuña's uncategorizable improvised performances, which combine singing, movement, chants, and stories. Also included are a critical introduction by Rosa Alcalá, a poetic memoir by Vicuña addressing her life in performance, images from Vicuña's extensive personal archive, and response pieces by Maria Damon, Linda Duke, Nada Gordon, Jena Osman, Kenneth Sherwood, Juliana Spahr, Dennis Tedlock, Edwin Torres, and Rodrigo Toscano.

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* A collector's print of Cecilia Vicuña's "com," a visual poem, is available in a limited quantity. Order yours here.

Spit Temple was a runner-up for the 2013 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation.

About the Author

Cecilia Vicuña
Photo credit: Liliana Bizama
Vicuña is a Chilean poet, artist and filmmaker. The author of twenty poetry books published in Europe, Latin America and the U.S., she performs and exhibits her work widely. A precursor of conceptual, impermanent art and the improvisatory oral performance, her work deals with the interactions between language, earth and textiles. Her most recent books are Kuntur Ko, El Zen Surado, and Saborami, (Chain Links). Chanccani Quipu, an artist book, was recently published by Granary Books. She co-edited the Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry. Since 1980 she divides her time between Chile and New York.

About the Translator

Rosa Alcalá is the author of a poetry collection, Undocumentaries (Shearsman Books, 2010), and has translated poetry by Cecilia Vicuña, Lourdes Vázquez, and Lila Zemborain, among others. She teaches at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Advance Praise

Vicuña's work, at its very essence, is ‘a way of remembering’—as if exile and recall joined to unravel an ‘autobiography in debris;’ as one personal story within a larger narrative.—Roberto Tejada
If the “everyone-in-everyone” has been a NY super-trope explored from Walt Whitman to Garcia Lorca to Bruce Andrews (scores of other poets would equally apply here) then Cecilia Vicuña can properly be said to be in that line. But more than “lines” “tropes” “methods” or “traditions” Vicuña’s poetry is concerned with the journey from “every-word-in-every-word” to “everyone-in-everyone.” "…. In a manner of speaking, she doesn’t “refer” to baskets, she gets us to pull the very reeds for the basket. She doesn’t “refer” to the English, or Spanish, or the many native languages such as Quechua that appear in her work, she summons them one unto the other—through concerted action, as through our live and on-site comprehension of them.—Rodrigo Toscano