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About this poet

Born in Mexico City in 1955, of Bulgarian Sephardic descent, Myriam Moscona is a poet and journalist.

Moscona is the author of nine books, including Vísperas (Fondo de Cultura Económica, México, 1996), El que nada (ERA, México, 2006) and De par en par (Bonobos, México, 2009), which explores poetry beyond its traditional construction. Her book De frente y de perfil (DDF, México, 1996), features literary portraits of 75 Mexican poets, with photographs by Rogelio Cuéllar. Tela de sevoya (Random House Mondadori, 2012) is a hybrid narrative that weaves together memory and fiction; the backdrop to the book is Moscona's family language, Ladino, or Judeo-Spanish.

Her book-length sequence Ivory Black (Negro marfil), translated from the Spanish by Jen Hofer, received the 2012 Harold Morton Landon Award from the Academy of American Poets. When Negro marfil was conceived, Moscona focused on the use of visual materials (inks, pastels, graphite, and acrylics), which led her to explore visual poetry. In this domain, she is the maker of a variety of art objects and artist books, some of which are part of the Special Collections and Archives of the University of California at Irvine.

Moscona has received numerous awards, including the Premio de Poesía Aguascalientes and the Premio Nacional de Traducción de Poesía; she is a grantee of the Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte, and she was awarded a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation. Selections of her work have also been translated into German, Italian, French, Hebrew, Arabic, Russian, Bulgarian, Chinese and Swedish.

She currently lives in Mexico City.

Ivory Black [Not to speak]

Myriam Moscona
  Not to speak
To see and to translate into moans    It's not pain
  To moan from birth
  Only the eye and the conquering of a tongue
  (that you wanted to say that for the slit?)

  To return toward hearing (to touch oneself) via the
  heart is heard slowly
  Is guarded like a black poem as if it were an eye
				who might rain

From Negro marfil / Ivory Black by Myriam Moscona. Copyright © 2011 by Jen Hofer. Published by Les Figues Press. Reprinted with permission of the translator.

From Negro marfil / Ivory Black by Myriam Moscona. Copyright © 2011 by Jen Hofer. Published by Les Figues Press. Reprinted with permission of the translator.

Myriam Moscona

Myriam Moscona

Her collection Ivory Black (Negro marfil), translated from the Spanish by Jen Hofer, received the Harold Morton Landon Award from the Academy of American Poets in 2012

by this poet

poem
BLACK breathing BLACK at the window
		Simultaneous
The interior eye     Opposite watching's touch
	  In what is black white
Is by accident		The eye detaches
As it slips from itself
What is black		Like sky

In its scream		Glassed   
Spins			In a straight line
Draws along		In a spiral

	Explodes
     Isn't it your
poem
    In the white and in the soot
    in the burnt senses of touch I write
    before starting the fast

    Forgiveness for what will be and the sun
    	Remains upon the sun
    The calligraphic line at dawn
    Makes John uneasy
	(how I would have liked to sup with those twelve)
I hear the forgiveness in this
poem
		      Dissolves
In ancient liquids		The black in shimmers

The harp like architecture its strings over unexpected rain
from echo to echo they draw their roughness they stop
If only I could			Seek within lack

     small incisions in the body like a drug they enter
let slip the poison they salivate they seek a