Ugly Duckling Presse

Chintungo: The Story of Someone Else
Chintungo: The Story of Someone Else

Soledad Marambio

translated by KT Billey

Poetry | $10 $8
Fall 2017
Buy"Marambio's poems veer into subversive territory with great subtlety…"
Chintungo: la historia de alguien más is a paradox from the outset. Over layers of history and story, “Alguien más” translates both to “someone more” and “someone else”—Chintungo is the story of a boy turned man turned father, refracted through the poems of his daughter. Soledad Marambio’s second book of poetry examines the facts, photos, and unknowable gaps in memory and history, tracing one family’s movement from the coast of Chile to Pinochet’s Santiago. Social and political change fold into mule-drawn trains and honeymoons in Europe, barefoot boys and VHS novelties. Marambio uses her father’s photographs as occasions to investigate the act of record-making and the evidence itself, knowing all the while that what is not seen is at least as vital as the images we’re left with. Hints and scenes are circled with careful resolve, resulting in a timeline both intimate and collective, sensitive to the switches that make the lights turn on, the screen get fuzzy, and the heart beat.
Excerpt ˇ


It embarrassed me
the name that embarrassed him.
Simón, he sometimes said
Simón, I said
        when they asked me
but the answer was not a convincing Simón:
when he said Simón,
        when I said, the dark little sound appeared
and a little of the person behind this sound
but later it hid, how he hid it.
Close ˆ

About the Author

Soledad Marambio
Soledad Marambio was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1976. A poet and translator, she is the author of En la Noche los Pájaros (La Calabaza del Diablo) and her second poetry book, Chintungo, is forthcoming in Spanish from Edicola ediciones. She has translated Anne Carson’s The Glass Essay and Variations on the Right to Remain Silent (Cuadro de Tiza Ediciones). Currently completing her Ph.D in Latin American Literature at the Graduate Center, CUNY, she was an editor at Brutas Editoras from 2011-2016. Last year she received a grant from the National Council for the Arts and Culture in Chile, to complete her first novel. Her work has appeared in Granta, Palabras Errantes and Los Bárbaros, among others. Marambio lives in Richmond, VA.

About the Translator

KT Billey
K.T. Billey is from rural Alberta, Canada. She won Vallum's 2015 Poetry Prize with “Girl Gives Birth To Thunder” and her work has appeared in journals such as CutBank, Denver Quarterly, The Harvard Review, EuropeNow, The New Orleans Review, & others in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. She translates from the Icelandic and Spanish. Stormwarning, her translation of Stormviðvörun by Icelandic poet Kristín Svava Tómasdóttir, is forthcoming from Phoneme Media in 2017 and was awarded the Leif and Inger Sjöberg Prize by the American Scandinavian Foundation. Tito, her translation of Marcelo Simonetti’s most recent novel, is out this spring through Chile’s Directorate for Cultural Affairs. Essays and literary criticism have appeared or are forthcoming in Guernica, BOMB, The Harvard Review, & others.

Advance Praise

In Soledad Marambio's poems of a barefoot world, it is the broken-shoed boy who becomes king. It is the mother who questions her child even before she has become a mother. Marambio's poems veer into subversive territory with great subtlety, and Billey's translation recreates the nuances with astonishing skill.—Idra Novey
[Marambio’s writing] works as a reflection on identity, origin, and the ties – thin or thick – that bind us to home. Capturing remoteness, distance, silence. And even further, reminding the reader through austere images, almost insignificant but of a tactile beauty, of Enrique Lihn’s words: “all language is foreign.—Karla Rodríguez
Chintungo, the magnificent selection of poems from Soledad Marambio´s second book, shines with episodes of a father´s life before it’s over. In this elegy of sorts, rules are inverted: the poet honors the pangs of poverty and illegitimacy as well as the illness that still runs through the family. The book assembles memory, history and the shared act of writing as an echo chamber one cannot stop listening to, returning to, remembering.—Lina Meruane
Soledad Marambio’s book is, among many other things, a book about family revelations. With unmitigated energy, the author inquires, reflects, focuses persistently on what lies, and often shamefully hides, under names, nicknames, scars – bruised memories, all of them, begging for recovery, in more than one sense of the word. Loosely bound by the presence of a father whose lovable quirkiness and stubborn creativity affect all around him, Chintungo brings together bits and pieces of a family past that, despite bleak moments, is nothing short of magical. —Sylvia Molloy
Marambio’s relationship to time and place represents the continuation of a bleak naturalism of the mind: where fracture and fragment contribute to the greatest whole possible. There is a representation of form and loss throughout the book as the father figure, whose identity shifts between father and self-proclaimed Chintungo, is a persistent, unobtainable force. The distance contributes to thematic conversations on bondage, expectation, accountability, and the heroic. What is larger than life, if not for our own craft of identity? ... This book opens more than it closes, and is worth exploring for the mature and patient excitement of its trajectory alone.—Yellow Rabbits