The Windmill Profile: Raquel Lanseros
By Ashrena Ali
Hofstra’s MFA in Creative Writing now offers a concentration in Spanish, underscoring the program’s focus on the writer in the world and fusing literary scholarship and intensive instruction in various genres: fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction.
MFA Director Miguel-Angel Zapata recently invited poet and translator Raquel Lanseros to his class, where she illuminated the importance of reading different authors from varying countries. Lanseros is one of Spain’s most significant voices in contemporary Spanish poetry. Her own work has been translated into numerous languages and she is recognized by nearly 200 critics from more than 100 universities as the most relevant poet in the Spanish language born after 1970. Ms. Lanseros demonstrates that a well-cultivated acquaintance and foundation of languages paired with writing is important in establishing yourself as a recognized voice. Some important awards include the Antonio Machado prize in Baeza, the Prize of the Train, as well as the Unicaja Poetry Prize. She obtained her PhD in Language and Literature Didactics, Master in Social Communication, and BA in English Philology. She’s also published many books, including Diary of a Flash, The Eyes of the Fog, and The Small Spines Are Small.
Currently, Raquel Lanseros is the official translator into Spanish for the European project Pop Science, and a permanent member of the literary-theatrical project Children of Mary Shelley, which brings together poets, novelists, musicians, and playwrights.
Take a look at one of her poems, first in Spanish and then in English!
He imaginado siempre el día de mi muerte.
Incluso en la niñez, cuando no existe.
Soñaba un fin heroico de planetas en línea.
Cambiar por Rick mi puesto, quedarme en Casablanca
sumergirme en un lago junto a mi amante enfermo
caer como miliciana en una guerra
cuyo idioma no hablo.
Siempre quise una muerte a la altura de la vida.
Dos mil cincuenta y nueve.
Las flores nacen con la mitad de pétalos
ejércitos de zombis ocupan las aceras.
Los viejos somos muchos
que nuestro peso arquea la palabra futuro.
Cuentan que olemos mal, que somos egoístas
con la presión exacta de un grillete.
Estoy sola en el cuarto.
Tengo ojos sepultados y movimientos lentos
como una tarde fría de domingo.
Dientes muy blancos adornan a estos hombres.
No sonríen ni amenazan: son estatuas.
Aprisionan mis húmeros quebradizos de anciana.
No va a doler, tranquila.
Igual que un animal acorralado
muerdo el aire, me opongo, forcejeo,
grito mil veces el nombre de mi madre.
Mi resistencia choca contra un silencio higiénico.
Hay excesiva luz y una jeringa llena.
Tenéis suerte, -mi extenuación aúlla-,
si estuviera mi madre
jamás permitiría que me hicierais esto.
I have always imagined the day of my death.
Even in childhood, when it does not exist.
I dreamed a heroic end of planets online.
To change my position for Rick, to stay in Casablanca to
submerge myself in a lake with my sick lover to
fall as a militiaman in a war
whose language I do not speak.
I always wanted a death at the height of life.
Two thousand and fifty-nine.
The flowers are born with half petals
armies of zombies occupy the sidewalks.
The old are many
we are so many
that our weight arches the future word.
They say that we smell bad, that we are selfish, that we
with the exact pressure of a shackle.
I’m alone in the room.
I have buried eyes and slow movements
like a cold Sunday afternoon.
Very white teeth adorn these men.
They do not smile or threaten: they are statues.
They snap my brittle old folks.
It will not hurt, calm.
Just as a cornered animal
bites the air, I oppose, struggle,
cry a thousand times the name of my mother.
My resistance collides against a hygienic silence.
There is excessive light and a full syringe.
You’re lucky, “my exhaustion howls,”
if my mother were, she would
never allow you to do this to me.