April 10, 2014
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— A poem based on a Calvin Klein advertisement inspired Illinois Wesleyan University Professor of Hispanic Studies Carmela Ferradáns to study the work of Spanish writer Ana Rossetti.
More than 20 years later, Ferradáns has published Incessant Beauty (2LeafPress, 2014), the first dual language Spanish/English collection of Rossetti’s poetry. Ferradáns said Rossetti is generally regarded as a transformative figure in 20th- and 21st-century Spanish culture.
Writing in response to the lifting of censorship after the 1975 death of dictator Francisco Franco, Rossetti rose to prominence for her often-daring poems: an example of that work is the poem “Calvin Klein, Underdrawers,” Ferradáns said.
“I have been reading and teaching this poem for more than 20 years now, and I find it still a wondrous journey of desire,” explained Ferradáns. “Rossetti’s poetry is so tactile you can almost touch and feel the words and images.”
Ferradáns worked with Rossetti for a decade to select poems offering a wide range of themes and poetic registers that span more than 30 years. Though widely studied in the United States, the poet’s work has never been published in a bilingual collection of this scope.
In Incessant Beauty, Ferradáns hopes to bring Rossetti, who is among the best-known living poets of Spain, to an English-speaking audience.
Collaborating with Ferradáns were Robert Bray, R. Forrest Colwell Professor of American Literature at Illinois Wesleyan, who translated Rossetti’s “Poetics” for the book, while adjunct professor of art Spencer Sauter of Normal, a 1970 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan, provided the cover art.
Ferradáns specializes in contemporary Spanish poetry with a strong interest in critical theory and cultural studies. In addition to language courses, she teaches Modern and Contemporary Spanish cultural history and literature. She joined the faculty at Illinois Wesleyan in 1992 after earning a Ph.D. at the University of California, Irvine.
Contact: Kim Hill, (309) 556-3960