Ugly Duckling Presse

Monitored Properties
Monitored Properties

Florencia Castellano

translated by Alexis Almeida

Poetry | $10 $8
Fall 2016
Buy"poetry unafraid of error"
Claiming the mundane as its starting point — “a father takes his car out of the garage / and sings” — Monitored Properties interrogates the ideological forces that exist in the smallest moments of our lives. With playful irony, wit, and lyrical dynamism, Florencia Castellano takes on the figure of the “cowboy,” the gaucho that has permeated Argentine history and helped define patriarchy for centuries. In its re-imagining, the book questions the ritual of cultural inheritance, suggests that automatic responses can be broken down in language. Here, the literal and the absurd touch, the self and the other dance, “despite not knowing each other.” If no haven is safe from the language of patriarchy, then its reverse could be true: no language, however emblazoned, is beyond the reach of the poet. Monitored Properties is a testament to living, relational histories and the way they expose and resist official, state-sanctioned versions. Excerpt ˇ


Along the sides of the Pan-American Highway kids read
weekly special
auctioned-offed martyrs

at the unstoppable pace
of new windshields
one by one fathers
bizarre droplets
on the foreheads of cowboys
Close ˆ

About the Author

Florencia Castellano
Photo credit: T.J. Pallo
Florencia Castellano (Buenos Aires, 1975) is the author of Un ruiseñor completamente blanco and Relieves de dispersión. She was part of the editorial group of the magazines Quesquesé (1997-2001) and Ilusiones perdidas (2001), and helped organize the Latin American Poetry Festival "Salida al mar" from 2007-2009. She edited the anthologies Quedar en lo cantado. Antología de poesía argentina y dominicana and Un libro oscuro. 106 poemas negros. Castellano teaches literature in high school and at the Universidad Di Tella in Buenos Aires.

About the Translator

Alexis Almeida
Alexis Almeida lives in Denver. Her poems, translations, essays, and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming in TYPO, Denver Quarterly, Aufgabe, Vinyl Poetry, Heavy Feather Review, and elsewhere. She is an Assistant Editor at Asymptote and performs with the poets’ theater group GASP. She was recently awarded a Fulbright grant, and in the spring of 2016 will travel to Buenos Aires to begin work on an anthology of contemporary female poets living in Argentina.