About this reading and conversation

Join us for “The Hollow Pillars of the Law”: Chilean Poetry in the Time of Pinochet, a reading and conversation with translators and scholars Marguerite Feitlowitz, Ángeles Donoso Macaya and Esther Allen. The evening will begin with a reading from Marguerite Feitlowitz from her translation of Ennio Moltedo’s Night, published by World Poetry Books in 2022, followed by a conversation with Ángeles Donoso Macaya and Esther Allen, moderated by Lost & Found events fellow Coco Fitterman.

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.

Ennio Moltedo (1931-2012), 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 chronicler, and a critic. Night is a Kafkaesque chronicle of the Pinochet era in prose poems that encompass the lyric, mini-drama, mini-epic, and micro-fiction, and which Esther Allen has called “surreal, agonized documents.”

Register here to attend this event. This event is free and open to all. Copies of Night will be available for purchase at the event.

About the Participants:

Marguerite Feitlowitz

Marguerite Feitlowitz’s newest book-length translations are Night, by Ennio Moltedo, a collection of 113 prose poems written during and against the Pinochet dictatorship (supported by an NEA Fellowship and published by World Poetry Books, 2023), and Small Bibles for Bad Times: Selected Prose and Poetry by French Holocaust writer Liliane Atlan (2021); and Pillar of Salt: An Autobiography with Nineteen Erotic Sonnets, by Salvador Novo (2014). I’ve also published two volumes of plays by Griselda Gambaro (Argentina). I'm the author of A LEXICON OF TERROR: Argentina and the Legacies of Torture, a New York Times Notable Book and Notable paperback, and a Finalist for PEN-L.L. Winship Prize. This book was also published in Argentina.

Her fiction, essays, translation, and writings on visual art and theatre have appeared in ACM, Asymptote, BOMB, Catapult, DELOS, Dissent, The Nation, Les Temps Modernes, el viejo topo, among other journals and anthologies. From 2002-2023, she taught Literature and Literary Translation at Bennington College, where she founded and directed “Bennington Translates,” a multi-disciplinary initiative spanning literary to humanitarian translation with a focus on forced displacement, migration, and linguistic justice.

Among her awards and fellowships, are two Fulbrights to Argentina, a fellowship to the Bunting Institute (now called the Radcliffe Institute), and a Harvard Faculty Research Grant.

Ángeles Donoso Macaya

Ángeles Donoso Macaya is a feminist immigrant educator, researcher, writer and activist from Santiago, Chile, based in New York City. She is Professor of Latin American Visual Studies in the Ph.D. Program in Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures at the CUNY Graduate Center, and Professor of Spanish at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY. Her research centers on Latin American photography theory and history, counter-archival production, human rights activism, documentary film, (trans)feminisms in the Southern Cone, and public humanities scholarship. She is the author of La insubordinación de la fotografía (Metales Pesados 2021) / The Insubordination of Photography: Documentary Practices under Chile’s Dictatorship (University Press of Florida 2020; 2nd edition 2023), which received the Best Book Award in Latin American Visual Culture (LASA 2021), Best Book Award in Recent History and Memory (LASA 2022), and an Honorable Mention Award for the Socolow-Johnson Prize (CLAH 2022); of the autobiographical essay Lanallwe (Tusquets 2023); and co-author, along with photographer Paz Errázuriz, of archivo imperfecto/imperfect archive (Metales Pesados 2023). Between 2020-2023, she was Faculty Lead of Archives in Common: Migrant Practices/ Knowledges/Memory, part of the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research at the Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Ángeles was a 2021-2022 Mellon/ACLS Community College Faculty Fellow and a 2023 Center for the Humanities Faculty Fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center. She is also member of the activist research collective somoslacélula, which creates video-essays that respond to pressing matters.

Esther Allen

Esther Allen teaches at the CUNY Graduate Center and at Baruch College (CUNY), where she directs the Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence Program. Her translation of Zama, by Antonio Di Benedetto, won the 2017 National Translation Award and she was a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow. Her essays and translations have appeared in The New York Review Daily, the Paris Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Words Without Borders, Bomb, and elsewhere. Read her work at www.estherallen.com.

Coco Sofia Fitterman

Coco Sofia Fitterman lives in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Provence Magazine, Brand-New-Life, Tripwire Journal, and elsewhere. Her debut poetry chapbook Say It With Flowers was published by Inpatient Press in 2017. She is currently a Ph.D. student of Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center, CUNY, focusing on Spanish and German, and an adjunct lecturer at Baruch College, as well as a Poetry Editor at Women's Studies Quarterly (WSQ) and an Events Fellow at Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative. She co-organizes the event series REVERIE, and runs a blog on experimental poetry: https://oerpoetics.commons.gc.cuny.edu/

This event is co-sponsored by Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative at the Center for Humanities and World Poetry Books.

Cover of Ennio Moltedo’s Night, translated by Marguerite Feitlowitz and published by World Poetry Books. Art by Nemesio Antúnez.