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Heaven by Manuel Vilas

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Manuel Vilas speaks in the voice of bitter experience, experience which seems intent on sending him up. He is a novelist as well as a poet, and his poems tell stories as the speaker moves quixotically across the map and between romances. His instinct for rhythm gives the reader a firm sense of place and tone. Universal in their concerns, taking in love and the end of love, life and the end of life, the poems are also resolutely Spanish in how they speak - bluntly, humorously - always alert for the fantastic.

This is the first translation of Vilas's two major collections Heaven (El cielo, 2000) and Heat (Calor, 2008) into English. Thematically fuelled with alcohol, death and sex, they go off into free-wheeling megalomaniacal flights of fantasy. The translator, James Womack, has won prizes for his versions of Vilas and of the Russian poet Mayakovsky.

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