Centennial Celebrations for Nicanor Parra

It’s not every day one of your favorite poets celebrates their 100th birthday, and we weren’t going to let Nicanor Parra’s big day pass without throwing him a rather splendid all-day party!

Parra Party

Parra is hugely popular in his native Chile—and at Malvern Books! We’re big fans of his “anti-poetry,” which confronts even the most serious topic with irreverent humor. And it seems we’re not the only Texans to admire Mr. Parra… we had a great turnout for his birthday bash, with lots of friendly folks stopping by to share their enthusiasm for Chilean literature. There were readings, and singing, and cake (naturally), and even a visit from the man himself (in the form of a recorded poetry reading, though we like to think he was fully there in spirit).

Here’s just a small sampling of our Parra party antics—be sure to check out our YouTube playlist for more videos!

Sean Manning read a selection of Parra poems in both Spanish and English, including the beautiful “Piano Solo,” translated by William Carlos Williams.

Malvernite Annar read a poem by Oscar Hahn, from the collection Ashes in Love (translated by James Hoggard):

Dave Oliphant has translated many Parra poems (including those in After-Dinner Declarations); he shared his memories of meeting and translating the great man.

And what’s a birthday party without a bilingual “Happy Birthday” sing-along? Happy birthday to you, Nicanor Parra!