Reflections Next to Yr Skin (Reflexiones junto a tu piel)

Diana Morán, translated by Ash Ponders

Born in Panama City on November 17th, 1932, Dr. Diana Morán led a life of social, sexual, and political activism that saw her arrested and exiled while still winning the country’s top prize for literature. A poet, union leader, professor, critic, and historian, Morán’s indelible if obscured legacy in Panama remains her ardent advocacy for feminism, the cultures of the isthmus, and a holistic appreciation of art in its myriad forms. Reflections Next to Yr Skin is Morán's first book translated into English.

In 1968, Morán was exiled from Panama by the Martínez & Torrijos Junta. Fearing for her life, she fled to Mexico City where she finished her doctorate at El Colegio de Mexico, worked at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, and continued her polemic resistance to the military governments, imperialism, reactionary contras, and sexism. Her students, friends, and peers continued her work in Panama even after her exile.

Diana Morán died at her desk, still in exile, in 1987. Her published works are Eva definida (1959), Ficción e historia: la narrativa de José Emilio Pacheco (1979, with Ivette Jiménez de Baez and Edith Negrín), Soberana presencia de la patria (1964), En el nombre del hijo (1966), and Reflexiones junto a tu piel (1982). Her doctoral thesis, Cien Años de Soledad: Novela de la desmitificación (1987), and first book, Gaviotas de cruz abierta (1992), which won the the Ricardo Miró National Literary Contest of the Republic of Panama, were both published posthumously.

Praise for Reflections Next to Yr Skin (Reflexiones junto a tu piel)

By translating Reflections Next to Yr Skin, Ash Ponders brings readers into vital contact with Diana Morán’s riotous, gorgeous, saboteur poetry. Morán died in 1987, but her work is striking as ever, a poetics that revels in the messiness of borders both physical and affective, a “fugitive sheaf…imperfect / / disheveled / / my sweetheart.”

The Kenyon Review

Panamanian poet and radical activist, Diana Morán, created her major works in the tumult of the 1960s and '70s. Despite winning the first Ricardo Miró National Literature Award for poetry, she was forced into exile as an active Marxist by the successive conservative and reformist military coups that overthrew the preceding government in the late '60s. Labeled a criminal reactionary by Torrijos and Noriega, Morán found a permanent home-in-exile in Mexico City, teaching at the Metropolitan Autonomous University. She passed away in 1987; her cremains were secretly scattered into the Panama Canal in 2004.

Panamanian multimedia artist Ash Ponders lives in the Sonoran Desert making visuals for newspapers and art galleries. His recent work has been covered by the New York Times, BBC, CNN and Teen Vogue. In his spare time he translates poems, chases hot air balloons, teaches firearms safety, and tutors adults in both Spanish and English.

PUBLICATION DATE : November 15, 2017

ISBN : 978-0-9987362-4-2

BINDING : Smyth sewn, paperback

TRIM SIZE : 6.75 x 9.25 inches

PAGE COUNT : 112 pages

COVER ART : Soliloquy Series (Veiled Women from Above) © 1999, Shirin Neshat

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