Goddess of Water by Jeannette L. Clariond
Trans. Samantha Schnee
World Poetry Books, September 2022
Mexican poet Jeannette L. Clariond’s Goddess of Water draws upon Mesoamerican cosmogony to lament the present-day epidemic of femicides in Mexico. The author’s sixth book in English translation reconstructs the myth of the moon goddess Coyolxauhqui, employing the lyricism of Nahuatl philosophy and investigating gender construction and fluidity in Aztec mythology. Printed in a bilingual edition, the cycle of poems is accompanied by a glossary of the Nahuatl words and Aztec concepts critical to its comprehension. In Samantha Schnee’s keen and urgent translation, this collection of poems presents a surprising window on an invisible war waged against thousands of Mexican women. Clariond astounds us with her ability to painstakingly analyze a phenomenon that has drawn attention around the globe. Translator Samantha Schnee is the founding editor of Words Without Borders. Her translation of Carmen Boullosa’s El libro de Eva, a finalist for the Mario Vargas Llosa Biennial Novel Prize, will be published by Deep Vellum in 2023.