The Birth of Thread

Julieta Marchant was born in Santiago de Chile in 1985. She has published three full-length books of poetry, Urdimbre (Ediciones Inubicalistas, 2009), El nacimiento de la hebra (Edicola Ediciones, 2015), and Reclamar el derecho a decirlo todo (Libros del Pez Espiral, 2017); and two chapbooks, Té de jazmín (Marea Baja Ediciones, 2010) and Habla el oído (Cuadro de Tiza Ediciones, 2017). She holds an MA in Literature and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy with an emphasis on Aesthetics and Art Theory. She is the co-director of Editorial Bisturí and Cuadro de Tiza Ediciones, the latter a small press that exclusively publishes chapbooks. The Birth of Thread is the first selection of her poetry to be translated into English.

Thomas Rothe was born in Berkeley, California in 1985. His translations of poetry and prose by Latin American authors have appeared in The Arkansas International, MAKE Magazine, Asymptote, InTranslation, Jacket2, and Lunch Ticket, among other journals. He has translated several volumes of poetry, including Jaime Huenún’s Fanon City Meu (Diálogos Books, 2018), Rodrigo Lira’s Testimony of Circumstances (Cardboard House Press, 2018) and Emma Villazón’s Expendables (OOMPH! Press, 2019). He lives in Santiago de Chile.

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The Birth of Thread
By Julieta Marchant Translated by Thomas Rothe • 2019 • $10
Design by Jeff Sanner

The threads that weave together in this meditative poem are threads that sew together grandmother, mother, poet, daughter. Then there are hands, chestnuts, memory, names, poem (what is it, and why are you writing about yourself in the third person?)and then back to grandmother, mother, poet, daughter. The text is presented as translated by Thomas Roche, and then in its original form written by Julieta Marchant. This is Tinfish Press’s first chapbook translation from Pacific (Chilean) Spanish.

Excerpt:

Memory and its path
I mean its clumsiness, its long arms.
A basic idea: I follow my grandmother
offering to carry her chestnuts.
An elementary question: how can such a small girl hold that basket?
Look at the wet soil, I wish my body would sink there, she said.
I didn’t see any soil, just a sea of dry leaves
rustling to accommodate the footsteps
I remember the fragile parts
I wish my body would sink there
and come to an end.
Probe the cavities that dwell in words
or let a vowel’s untouchable space touch you.


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