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Jessica Sequeira

Translator’s Note: Rocío Ágreda Piérola

Monstruo cortejando a la locura (Monster Wooing Madness) is a recent series of poems by Rocío Ágreda Piérola that gathers texts written over the last ten years. It takes its name from Kafka's remark that a writer who does not write is a “monster wooing madness.” Sometimes this is translated as a “monster courting insanity,” but “wooing madness” seems both more intimate and more unsettling, the tone Rocío strikes in her work. She writes into and out of silence and the abyss, on the knife's edge between meaning and verbiage. The abstraction of the poems sometimes makes locating a subject or intention difficult, and there is a constant sensation of vague threat. Perhaps falling in love, and descending into madness, share a certain feeling of transit toward an unknown destiny. Rocío herself writes of her work that it “conjures up writing as an unstable act, since every poem is on the verge of not being written, and knows it.”

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