Ugly Duckling Presse

Sakra Boccata
Sakra Boccata

José Antonio Mazzotti

translated by Clayton Eshleman

Poetry | $14 $12


from #1


In the city guardians stroll by, sentries of their dream.

The secret of two is a miracle

Of the free, those heavenly bodies who pass each other on the

highways and for barely an instant

Look at each other as lastingly as comets.



from #3


Your Konch is that exquisite place most deeply inside the war

One must arrive there with the dexterity of the wounded pilot

Navigating labyrinths like the palm of his hand

Following each curve like a treasure map

With its walls and its gates

Shouting Red Rum Red Rum / Destruction Never

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About the Author

José Antonio Mazzotti

José Antonio Mazzotti is a Peruvian poet living in the U.S. since 1988. He has published eight books of poetry: Poemas no recogidos en libro (1981) Fierro curvo (1985), Castillo de popa (1988 and 1991), El libro de las auroras boreales (1995), Señora de la noche (1998), El zorro y la luna (1999), Sakra Boccata (2006 and 2007), and Las flores del mall (2009). Currently, he is Professor of Latin American Literature and Chair of the Department of Romance Languages at Tufts University. He is also President of the International Association of Peruvianists since 1996 and Director of the Revista de Crítica Literaria Latinoamericana, one of the most important journals in Latin American literary criticism, since 2010. 

About the Translator

Clayton Eshleman has been at the heart of American poetry since the early 1960s. His poems, critical essays, and translations of poets as important and diverse as Cesar Vallejo, Aime Cesaire, Pablo Neruda, and Antonin Artaud, have earned him international acclaim. His Juniper Fuse: Upper Paleolithic Imagination & the Construction of the Underworld is a groundbreaking collection of poetry and prose that is the culmination of Eshleman's twenty-five years of research into the origins of image-making via the Ice Age painted caves of southwestern France. A new collection of poetry, Anticline, appeared in the spring of 2010. 

Advance Praise

José Antonio Mazzotti’s Sakra Boccata is a book that in its brief sequence of twenty-eight poems — the number in a lunar cycle — displays one of the most revelatory poetries in contemporary Latin America. These poems enter into a dialogue with the grand saga of the literature of passion and with the multiple topoi and crossroads displayed by the theme of love in its affirmations and negations since the Song of Songs, on the one hand, and Sappho’s fragments, on the other, over twenty-five hundred years of writing.—Raul Zurita