As part of the larger, ongoing movement throughout Latin America to reclaim non-Hispanic cultural heritages and identities, indigenous writers in Mexico are reappropriating the written word in their ancestral tongues and in Spanish. As a result, the long-marginalized, innermost feelings, needs, and worldviews of Mexico's ten to twenty million indigenous peoples are now being widely revealed to the Western societies with which these peoples coexist. To contribute to this process and serve as a bridge of intercultural communication and understanding, this groundbreaking anthology—to be published in three volumes—gathers works by the leading generation of writers in thirteen Mexican indigenous languages: Nahuatl, Maya, Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Tojolabal, Tabasco Chontal, Purepecha, Sierra Zapoteco, Isthmus Zapoteco, Mazateco, Ñahñu, Totonaco, and Huichol.
Volume Two contains poetry by Mexican indigenous writers. Their poems appear first in their native language, followed by English and Spanish translations. Montemayor and Frischmann have abundantly annotated the Spanish, English, and indigenous-language texts and added glossaries and essays that discuss the formal and linguistic qualities of the poems, as well as their place within contemporary poetry. These supporting materials make the anthology especially accessible and interesting for nonspecialist readers seeking a greater understanding of Mexico's indigenous peoples.
Carlos Montemayor is an award-winning Mexican creative writer, political analyst, and expert on indigenous cultures. He is based in Mexico City.
Donald Frischmann is Associate Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and Researcher at the Universidad de las Américas-Puebla.
"This is a very exciting collection of poetry by leading indigenous authors from a wide variety of first nations located throughout contemporary Mexico.... It will be welcomed by Latin Americanists, as well as others interested in contemporary indigenous autonomy and cultural revitalization movements."—Cynthia Steele, Professor of Comparative Literature and International Studies, University of Washington, Seattle
"This is an ambitious and exciting project.... The choices of poets and of individual poems are judicious and balanced, the scholarly mechanism informed, knowledgeable, and helpful."
—Stephen Tapscott, MIT, editor of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry: A Bilingual Anthology