Ugly Duckling Presse

Item view

Cecilia Vicuña: Spit Temple
Browse < >

Translator: Rosa Alcala

| $18 ($15 direct from UDP)
Perfect-bound. 264 pp, 6 x 8 in.
ISBN 978-1-937027-03-2
Publication Date: November 1, 2012
Distribution: ~SPD~
Series: Dossier

Read Press Release (PDF)

Download Free Digital PDF Proof (Make a donation)

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


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.


  [ 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 (from Four Poets of Contemporary Democratic Urban Expression)





The publication of this book was made possible in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Jerome Foundation. 


08.23.13 | Rosa Alcala shortlisted for PEN Translation Award

07.23.13 | Spit Temple by Cecilia Vicuña shortlisted for PEN Award for Poetry in Translation

04.01.13 | Spit Temple author Cecilia Vicuña interviewed in the Poetry Project Newsletter #235

03.02.13 | UDP books by Joshua Edwards, Cecilia Vicuña, and Maged Zaher are on SPD’s February best seller list

02.15.13 | Spit Temple by Cecilia Vicuña is reviewed by David Berridge on Intercapillary Space

02.11.2013 | Spit Temple by Cecilia Vicuña reviewed in river pine anthology of civic discourse

12.14.12 | Watch a video of Cecilia Vicuña performing at UDP’s Cellar Series.

Cecilia 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 book is Saborami, Chain Links, 2011. Chanccani Quipu, an artist book, was recently published by Granary Books. She co-edited the Oxford Book of Latin American Poetry, New York, 2009. Since 1980 she divides her time between Chile and New York.

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.