On Tuesday night in the Multiforo Alicia, only a short walk from where I’m staying in Roma Sur (Mexico City), I attended a poetry reading by several members of the Infrarrealistas (Infrarealists), a literary movement best known to contemporary readers from Roberto Bolaño’s Mexico City novels, Amulet and The Savage Detectives, where it appears as the “Visceral Realists.” I have briefly discussed the relevant Bolaño novels in previous posts, which contain some useful links. Here’s another one.
The occasion for the reading in Multiforo Alicia on Tuesday night was the release of Perros habitados por las voces del desierto (Dogs Inhabited by the Voices of the Desert), a new collection with an extended critical introduction by Rubén Medina. Medina was a founding member of the Infrarrealistas, and is now Professor and Chair in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Rubén Medina unfortunately could not attend the event. The poet José Peguero — one time co-editor of the magazine Correspondencia infra (1977) — served as an MC. Many of the poets in attendance (e.g., Juan Esteban Harrington, Ramon Méndez Estrada, María Guadalupe Ochoa Ávila, Edgar Altamirano) read their work directly from Medina’s edited volume or from loose pages. They also read several poems on behalf of deceased poets, including Mario Santiago Papasquiaro, the poet on whom Bolaño based his Ulises Lima character in The Savage Detectives, and to whom he dedicated his 1999 novella on Mexico City’s 1968, Amulet.