red fox

(Zorro culpeo – Laguna Torre, Los Glaciares, Argentina)

Delighted to have a fox poem in the latest Emma Press anthology ‘Some Cannot be Caught’, published this week and edited by the very excellent Anja Konig and Liane Strauss, so thought I’d share a photo from my recent travels in Patagonia of a ‘false fox’ (apparently they’re more closely related to wolves) who was busy scavenging grub off hikers below Cerro Torre. Get your copy here –

Gabriela y Violeta


These life-sized, hand-knitted, Gabriela Mistral and Violeta Parra dolls were putting the world to rights outside the excellent Gabriela Mistral Cultural Centre (GAM) in Santiago, Chile. On my final morning in Santiago I also managed to squeeze in a visit to the Violeta Parra museum, a few blocks west of the GAM. Parra, the ‘Mother of Latin American Folk’ (and a fantastic embroiderer too) was the poet Nicanor Parra’s equally talented sister and the museum is a moving celebration of her life and work. Highly recommended.


Elicura Chihuailaf, Mapuche lonco


Went to a Colo-Colo game this evening  (the team were lacklustre, the fans were incredible) and was impressed by this poster of the Mapuche poet Elicura Chihuailaf, which was all over the stadium fences. We’re not in Tottenham anymore, I thought…

Jerome Rothenberg has an interesting post about Mapuche poets, including Chihuailaf, with examples of their work, here –


desks and inspiration


For all you poet-desk spotters out there, here’s Pablo Neruda’s with its impressive view over Vaparaíso. La Sebastiana is now a museum and has lots of intriguing items to whet the inspiration, not least a large portrait of Walt Whitman covering a door in the study; a door which the audio guide said was intended to lead to a helicopter landing strip for possible astral navigation! An idea that was sadly ‘never realised’. But this nod to health and safety in the stairwell said it best for me –


(for that moment when you’ve just got to find a pen…)

Mistral, Neruda & Lorca – Valparaíso



(Plaza de los Poetas)

him and her

(Café del Poeta)

Valparaíso seems a city almost entirely given over to poetry, with street art; statues; words on walls. Even cafés, with a table permanently set for Neruda and Mistral, or rather their (somewhat stiff) wooden doubles, at a café in the central plaza. At the Plaza de los Poetas, just up the road from Neruda’s old house, are statues of Neruda, Mistral and the avant-garde poet, Vicente Huidobro, all of whom seem rather forlornly to have lost something – Mistral’s hands and the book from her lap; Huidobro’s companion; a cane from Neruda’s hand perhaps? Also, fanning out from this square, are lots of handcrafted pottery tiles decorated with quotes from Federico Garcia Lorca. Set into the walls of homes and shops, these tiles were donated on the occasion of the 7th World Tango Summit. Here’s my favourite –


(a river that comes singing through the bedrooms of the suburbs)


‘In the end all we have is tomorrow’ (Nicanor Parra, the ‘anti-poet’, 1914-2018)



(Valparaiso street art)

In the words of Nicanor Parra, one of the pre-eminent Latin-American poets of the 20th century, who died this year at 103 years old –

En resumidas cuentas // Sólo nos va quedando el mañana: / Yo levanto mi copa / Por ese diá que no llega nunca 

In the end all we have is tomorrow: I raise my glass to the day that never comes.

(from his poem ‘Último Brindis’/ ‘The Last Toast’)

mud pot – Sol de mañana