In June 2014, researchers at the Pablo Neruda Foundation in Santiago, Chile, discovered 20 previously unknown poems by the widely admired poet-diplomat. Poetry lovers here have been waiting impatiently, but finally we have word that Washington State–based Copper Canyon Press has acquired the U.S. rights to the manuscript. We still have to wait some–the book will be published in April 2016—but the good news is the volume will be both hardcover and bilingual and will include full-color, facsimile presentations of Neruda’s handwritten poems. What’s more, the poems will be rendered in English by Forrest Gander, who’s not just a distinguished translator familiar with Neruda’s work (check out his handiwork in The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems, City Lights, 2004) but a fine poet himself; his cross-cultural, cross-genre Core Samples from the World was both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.
“As one of North America’s premier independent publishers of poetry, our entire organization got behind this acquisition enthusiastically,” says Copper Canyon Editor in Chief Michael Wiegers. “That enthusiasm, along with our ongoing dedication to Neruda, has been acknowledged by the Neruda estate—and we’re honored they’ve chosen us for this important project.” In fact, the nonprofit publisher launched a special appeal to raise the funding that facilitated its successful bid for the project. With poems dating from 1956 and reflecting Neruda’s” imaginative power and expressive abundance” at its height, according to poet and scholar Pere Gimferrer, speaking at the time of the poems’ discovery, this new volume will be a labor of love for the publisher and a joy for readers everywhere.