Tiawanaku. Four poems by Judith Santopietro

Judith Santopietro © Elena Lehmann

Judith Santopietro was born in Córdoba (Veracruz, México) in 1983, though she was also raised between Ixhuatlán del Café and Boca del Monte, native communities in the Altas Montañas to which her family belongs. There she first heard stories about nahuales, chaneques, flying women, and other extraordinary beings from the Mesoamerican world. Her mother tongue is Spanish; neverthe- less, she has learned Nahuatl for political reasons and to honor her foremothers who dreamed and lived in that language. Judith holds a Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and has carried out research residencies in the Sierra de Zongolica and Tecomate (Veracruz), the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (Texas), and the University of Leiden (The Nether- lands), as well as in New York and Bolivia.

She has published the books Palabras de Agua (Instituto Veracruzano de Cultura-Praxis, 2010) and Tiawanaku. Poemas de la Madre Coqa (Hanan Harawi Editores, 2017) —the first version in Spanish—, as well as the essay “Migran- tes nahuas celebran a Santiago Apóstol: un ejercicio de comunalidad en Nue- va York” (Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas, 2017/ Leiden University Press, 2016). She was awarded the Lázara Meldiú National Poetry Prize in 2014 and was a finalist for the International Literary Prize “Aura Estrada” in 2017. She has published in the Anuario de Poesía Mexicana 2006 (Fondo de Cultura Eco- nómica), Rio Grande Review, La Jornada and The Brooklyn Rail, and has also par- ticipated in numerous festivals, including PEN America’s World Voices Festival in Nueva York, 2018.

Her passions are the project Iguanazul: Literature in Indigenous Languages, photography, participating in traditional rituals and dance, birdwatching, and leafing through her rice paper book of poetry from the Tang Dynasty in Chinese ideograms. Currently, she is writing narratives of migration about indigenous communities in the US.

Excerpted from Tiawanaku. Poemas de la Madre Coqa

© Judith Santopietro

English Translation © llana Luna

© Judith Santopietro
© Judith Santopietro

© Judith Santopietro



About the translator

Ilana Luna is a nomad at heart, and has lived on both coasts of the U.S. (Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, California); Miramar, Bs. As. Argentina; Mexico City and currently calls Phoenix, Arizona home, where she is an Associate Professor of Latin American Studies at Arizona State University. She has been a mother, a lover, a poet, singer, novelist, educator, activist, cooking enthusiast, and translator for the last two decades. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Hispanic Languages and Literature from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and came into her unrepentant and intersectional feminism at an early age, culminating in an undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College, in Pennsylvania, where she was born. She is also a life-long cinephile, and writes about women filmmakers in Latin America (and the world). She is the Programming Director of Femme Revolution Film Fest in Mexico City, and has written Adapting Gender: Mexican Feminisms from Literature to Film (SUNY Press, 2018). Among many loose publications of poets and essayists, she has also translated several books of poetry, including Juan José Rodinás’ Koan Underwater (Cardboard House Press, 2018) and Giancarlo Huapaya’s sub verse workshop (Lavender Ink, 2019).

More about Judith Santopietro

Tiawanaku. Poemas de la Madre Coqa. Print. Bilingual Edition

Directed by Patricio Agusti