A bilingual erasure project of the NAFTA treaty, co-published with Aldus Editorial (Mexico). The second printing features a new cover.
Hugo García Manríquez is the author of the chapbook Two Poems and Painting is Finite, and two books in Spanish: No oscuro todavia and Los materiales. Recent work has appeared in Dreamboat, Dusie, Spiral Orb, Tierra Adentro, the collective chapbook Field Work, and in the collection of essays Escribir Poesía en México. His work as translator includes William Carlos Williams’ Paterson, published in Mexico in 2009, and, in 2014, Mecha de Enebros, his translation of Juniper Fuse: Upper Paleolithic Imagination & the Construction of the Underworld by Clayton Eshleman. He has also translated essays and poems by Charles Bernstein, George Oppen and Myung Mi Kim. Hugo lives in Oakland, California, where he is a graduate student in the Spanish and Portuguese Department at UC Berkeley.
…[T]wenty years after the NAFTA document took effect, Hugo García Manríquez translates, re-creates, and, as I am thinking of it, miscreates the NAFTA agreement through an entwined activity of reading as inscribing…. Hugo’s miscreation is a tale of our wickedness—our knot of complicity, passivity, and outrage as both the benefactors and casualties of the document’s stipulations.
Unveiling as he erases, García Manríquez teaches us to find the political in the poetic and the poetic in the political as he carefully reads and shrewdly re-writes one of the most influential documents in the modern life of Mexico and North America altogether: the NAFTA agreement of 1994. A dexterous excavator, García Manríquez produces pauses and hollows, openings and miscreations, in an otherwise finished version of contemporary neoliberalism. His Anti-Humboldt interrupts the flow of pre-established practices and discourses of politics, turning my reading and your reading into a veritable collaboration with the political. These are our eyes, discerning the passing of time between black and gray inks; and these are our fingers, pointing at real lives and real deaths—half-emerging and half-concealed—in between lines. Only rarely has Mexican poetry enticed the present in with such critical insistence. Only rarely has post-conceptual poetry mattered this much.
Within Anti-Humboldt, García Manríquez opens a path towards a cruel ecopoetics, a bilingual experimentalism and a new prosody. There's something merciless in this work: it instantly makes nearly all of Mexican poetry anachronistic.