Cecilia Vicuņa  

Cecilia Vicuņa bridges worlds and traditions often kept artificially at odds. The old world and the new, the north and the south, the avant-garde and the traditional. Rather than borders these opposed positions become as combinatory threads in the verbal/aural weavings that constitute her work.

The poetry emerges from deep belief, an ethic that one might describe as ecological, spiritual. Exploring the rootedness of word in sound, Vicuņa brings into contemporary Spanish and English-language poetry a vision informed by traditional Andean myth and a philosophy of the sacred.

In an apparent paradox, the poetry is also inspired by modernist and postmodern aesthetics--from Lezama Lima to Joseph Cornell.  The paradox dissolves if one recalls the cross-cultural quip attributed to a Balinese: We don't have art, we do everything well.

There is an inter- or cross-disciplinarity that informs her words, performances, film, and visual art installations (which by the way have been commissioned by leading museums on three continents).

More than any other poet today, Vicuņa creates a poetic space through her performances, immersing the audience in a bilingual play of word and tone that exemplifies the metaphors of connectedness that ground her poetics.

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Photo: Martin Spinelli



Performance 12 April 2002- Odessa, Texas 41:20  (mp3)

Performance 10 March 1994 Buffalo, NY 15:59 (mp3)

Podcast 1.0 - Cecilia Vicuņa 13:23

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Print Archive

Thread of the Voice  - A Performance Transcription*


Essential Grammar_____
Roberto Tejada

Cardinal Formants_____
 Kenneth Sherwood

Sound Written and Sound Breathing [parts 1 & 2]+_____
Kenneth Sherwood


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* Originally published in a virtual chapbook associated with RIF/T 04.01 (Transpoesis Issues) at the Electronic Poetry Center.  Reprinted with permission, copyright 1995.

+Originally published in The Precarious/Quipoem: The Art and Poetry of Cecilia Vicuna. Ed.  M. Catherine de Zegher.  Middletown, Wesleyan U P, 1997.   Reprinted with permission.