Red Poppy is dedicated to promoting the power of Latin American poetry to evoke emotions and foster social consciousness. Our current priority is completing an important documentary film on the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. His faith in the “poet’s obligation” to use poetry to bear witness to injustice and promote progressive social change inspires our work. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
We have just finished creating a multilingual anthology of Latin American "Poetry in Resistance.” (Check back soon for more information on the project.)
Trying to make a difference, one poem at a time.
We need your help to further our projects, further the cultivation of this poetic garden with its poignant, fertile soil, ready to grow and spread the vital power of Latin American poetry through English translation and universal outreach. Please join us.
For more information, email us. And please sign up for special announcements, special poems, new clips from the movie, and more.
Some of the faces of the Red Poppy family:
(none of the five below have yet to take any pay for their Red Poppy
Mark Eisner, Red Poppy's Founder and President
During college, Mark studied in Central America, where the poetry of Neruda and other activist Latin American poets inspired him like never before. Ten years later, City Lights published his bilingual The Essential Neruda, which has become the bestselling edition of Neruda in the US. Mark created, edited, and was a principal translator for the book. His translations are included in several other books and anthologies. His (non-Neruda) opinion pieces, book reviews, and other writings have also appeared in a variety of publications. On Neruda's centennial, July 12th, 2004, Mark read Neruda's poetry and was interviewed on NPR's Morning Edition, and that night led a reading at an overflowing Theater Artaud in San Francisco, along with other contributors to the Essential, including the legendary Lawrence Ferlinghetti and US Poet Laureate emeritus Robert Hass. The reading was followed by the premier of Red Poppy’s award-winning “Pablo Neruda! Presente!” which Mark produced and directed. This original film serves as the seed for the more ambitious “Pablo Neruda: The Poet’s Calling”, currently in production. That evening was the beginning of a week-long festival produced by Red Poppy. The San Francisco Chronicle called it "a perfect birthday party." Mark earned his BA from the University of Michigan with High Honors in English/Creative Writing and distinction in Political Science. He received his MA in Latin American Studies from Stanford, where he was later a Visiting Scholar. More on Mark...
Tina Escaja, Vice Presidenta
Tina is a dynamic creative writer and scholar from Zamora, Spain. She has published extensively on gender and 20th/21st Latin American poetry and fiction. Her last book of poetry, Caida Libre won the Premio Hispanoamericano Dulce María Loynaz. A bilingual edition, translated into English by Mark, was published by Fomite Press in 2015 (available on Amazon or you can go indie and buy it through us, with the proceeds going to help further our projects. Click here for more info. Tina also works with experimental and multimedia works, including hypertext, and has displayed her art internationally. Tina is currently Professor of Spanish Literature and Director of Latin American Studies at the University of Vermont, where she is also a member of the Film Studies Faculty. As she says, " Poetry must tear open, articulate the pain of the tremendous senselessness of human existence.
Words and beauty ought to serve to fill this void. Denunciation and artfulness, a jump from a
precarious parachute, technology and alienation in service of
ourselves and the people. I subscribe to this minimum responsibility that I undertake completely. Poetry is a risk and an exercise in salvation
that has to be done." More on Tina...
Jessica Ernst Powell, Secretaria
Jessica is a translator of Spanish poetry and prose; a scholar of Latin American literature. She received an MA in Latin American Studies from Stanford University (the year before Mark got his). Jessica then earned a PhD in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she currently teaches. Jessica has published numerous translations of a wide variety of Latin American authors, including Jorge Luis Borges, César Vallejo, Silvina Ocampo, and Liliana Heer. In 2011, she received a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship to support her work translating Antonio Benítez Rojo’s epic novel, Mujer en traje de batalla (Woman in Battle Dress). Benítez Rojo (1931-2005) is widely considered one of the most significant Cuban authors of his generation. The novel is now forthcoming from City Lights Publishers. Jessica’s contribution to our first book, Poetry in Resistance: A Latin American Anthology, was crucial to its success. With her brilliant translating skills, keen insight, and strong commitment to Red Poppy, Jessica will be a vital member of our leadership as we continue to produce literary projects promoting the social power of Latin American poetry.
Rodrigo Rojas, Associate
Rodrigo is a Chilean poet and translator. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University (on a Fulbright Scholarship) and a PhD in Literature from Chile's Universidad Católica. From 2004 to 2010, Rodrigo directed a novel program in creative writing and publishing at Diego Portales University in Santiago. His current teaching includes literary translation and he runs their international lecture series in homage to Roberto Bolaño. Rodrigo has published essays on how the act self-translation by Chile's indigenous Mapuche poets is a "strategy of cultural resistance." This has helped inform our anthology of Latin American Poetry in Resistance. He is also the author of three books of poetry. His poetry in English has been published in numerous journals South Africa and the United States. In 1995 he won both the Pablo Neruda Creative Writing Fellowship and the Gabriela Mistral Poetry Prize. He received Chile's National Book Council's Creative Writing Fellowship in 2000 and in 2008.
Megan Coxe, Associate
Megan is a translator, poet, and writer from Houston, Texas. She has published numerous works across poetic, fiction, and non-fiction genres, with a focus on themes of the intersections of gender, race and post-colonial discourse. Megan studied International Studies and Spanish Literature at Kenyon College. After teaching English in Almeria, Spain, she returned to the US, where she earned her MA in Literatures and Cultures of Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula at the University of Texas at Austin. Her research focused on the White Myth in Argentina and the invisibility of the Afro-Argentine community of the 19th century. More recently, she joined the team at Cine Las Americas, a Latin American and Indigenous film festival, as Publications Manager and, later, Film Reviewer. As an Associate at Red Poppy, she brings her dynamic experience in written and cinematic arts to help expose the social power of Latin American poetry to a wider audience. Megan lives in Austin, Texas.
María Cristina Monsalve, Associate
María Cristina Monsalve, from Quito, Ecuador, is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at University of Maryland. She graduated in Communication and Literature from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador (2007). Her dissertation studies the poetics of ruins and the theory of the fragmentary writing, focusing on the Peruvian Martín Adan, a contemporary of Neruda. Her general fields of interest are 19th and 20th century Latin American literature and its connections with philosophy. She also explores archeology, architecture and the field of digital humanities. María Cristina plays several string musical instruments like guitar, cuatro, charango and ukulele and is a persistent collector of postcards, potato recipes and literary quotations.
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