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 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!