Night by Ennio Moltedo
Translated by Marguerite Feitlowitz
World Poetry Books, November 2022
Written during the Pinochet dictatorship but not published until democracy’s return, Ennio Moltedo’s Night is a masterpiece of controlled rage, mourning, resistance, and astonishing humor, and the first of his books to appear in English translation. Moltedo, whom Raúl Zurita called “one of the finest, greatest, most curious and honorable poets of Chile,” is at once lyrical and political, a dramatist, a historian, and a critic. Ennio Moltedo (1931-2012) spent his life in the small Chilean coastal cities of Valparaíso and Viñ a del Mar. Born to Genoese immigrants, he is a poet of the New World Mediterranean: inspired, chastened, and challenged by the ancients, and in conversation with his contemporaries, including Huidobro, Girondo, Neruda, and de Rokha. A revered “poet’s poet,” he published eight individual collections of poetry, as well as an anthology of Romanian poetry co-translated with Neruda, and a chronicle of Neruda’s life (Neruda: poeta del cerro Florida). Longtime director of the University of Valparaíso Press, Moltedo also wrote criticism, journalism, and text for books of visual art and cartoons.