Rough Song is Peruvian poet Blanca Varela’s (1926-2009) first collection of poems to ever be translated into English. A well-respected poet among her famous peers — Breton, Sartre, Michaux, de Beauvoir, Giacometti — Varela’s deceptively simple poems hold a mysteriously delicate weight far beyond their length.
In Rough Song, Blanca Varela uses language to create “on the empty plate” and cuts reality open. Originally written in the ‘70’s, this work remains both unpredictable and surprising. In these pages she condenses and transmutes the world into text and texture so that what emerges is legible and sharp. Here “the word / slithering / will be your footprint.” Let us follow.
— Gabriela Jauregui
In 2001, Varela was the winner of the Octavio Paz Prize for Poetry, and in 2006, she was the first woman to win the Federico Garcia Lorca International Poetry Prize.