W. Nick Hill

Poet and Translator

Selected Works

Poetry
"Belongings," "The Tides," and "Red Truck," the three parts of my previous book, published by Dos Madres Press in April, 2012
Bilingual English / Spanish Poetry written from 1991 to 1997, in the New School Chapbook Series. Finalist in the Sow's Ear Chapbook Contest 1997
Translations
The "testimony" of a Cuban slave who later fought in the War of Independence.

WORKS

POETRY

Gary Lemons says Blue Nocturne "is powerful and spooky and lovely all at the same time."


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“Reading Blue Nocturne, you will be surprised to learn of places where what occurs is not only what the eye sees but what amounts to an “intercourse with the primeval,” as mediated by a thoughtful and wise cicerone. . . . Unexpected discoveries, like gemstones found in a riverbed, invite the reader to contemplate, and, even better, to experience, the tentative place of human consciousness in an unthinking but signaling universe of “rivers that speak boulders” and of “storms of stars.” At the end of the journey, as W. Nick Hill shows us, “home is nowhere,/ but close.”
-David Cusic

BLUE NOCTURNE
If you were to start all over again now, how would you? The speaker of these poems fashions the language in forms of the ancient Asian hexagram for guidance. He turned from day to focus on the night, songs to night, admiration for cave paintings, dark beginnings.

And We'd Understand Crows Laughing
A collection of poems in three parts:
"Belongings," "The Tides," and "Red Truck."

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Meditations on place, shoes, war,
love, tomatoes, death, peonies.
Dos Madres Press, April 2012

Seed

Bridge to birth, ancient vessel of present form,
mute determination packed tight
in a tidy valise, she waits with the patience
of redwoods or a stone for water,
ready with immortality, botany’s cockroach.

Determined in her habit like a music box,
until an unsprung zone releases
the winged snake that riles itself up
toward the orb that billows light
as though to devour it.

If we carried a seed in our pockets,
if we’d be messengers who walked
the clear paths to then and survived
with fruit, who were bland and wooly
with our bristles and buckteeth,
with information, clogged with mud and roots
that kept bringing us down to the ground
made us slow, puddles and ruts that fill with rain
our sister, the weeds that hold us,
pine cone and horizon, we’d cherish moss
humming to the bark, and to river beds
strewn with pluming currents, and we’d sit
beside the gravel as it popped in the heat.

And we’d understand crows laughing,
live safe in the embrace of elements,
grateful to the seed for guidance.

TRANSLATIONS FROM SPANISH


Fiftieth Anniversary Edition of Biography of a Runaway Slave by Miguel Barnet, 2016.
“There has been no book like this before and it is unlikely that there ever will be another like it.”—Graham Greene

He [Esteban] is the radical truth so many of us are still so reluctant to face." -- National Catholic Reporter


Mundane Rites / Ritos Mundanos
"I found a helpless voice / crying in a ditch, / a parrot's heart / aflutter in the weeds, / a nation laid out. . . / / el pueblo vive por amor."
--from "Las animitas at a Roadside Shrine."

"The Witnesses," "The Dead,"and "Kienzle" from Fernández Granados' Principle of Uncertainty, in eXchanges, Journal of Literary Translation.

A Translation chapbook in the 30th Anniversary Edition of the Mid-American Review

A story of love and revolution that takes place during the Argentine struggle for independence (1810-1820) and focuses on the character of the national hero, Manuel Belgrano. However, Belgrano's story is told through the voices of the real heroes of the novel-María Kumbá, a mulatto healer-priestess, fighter, and nurse to the common soldiers; and Gregorio Rivas, mestizo son of a well-to-do Spanish businessman.

Ana Gloria Moya, an Argentine lawyer, has published a number of award-winning works of fiction, and was awarded the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz prize for this novel.



A "testimonial" portrait of the glamorous and energetic world of Havana, Cuba, during the 1920s and 1930s centers around the popular nightspot, the Alhambra Theater, and Rachel, the dazzling star of a troupe of rumberos, rhumba dancers, that performs there. The narrative provides an unblinking review of a frivolous society.

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