The Ofi Press was founded in December 2010 by poet, editor and Young Poets Networker Jack Little, with the aim of promoting Mexican literature around the world and publishing the best in international poetry, fiction, essays and more in a monthly online magazine.
In 2013, Young Poets Network collaborated with The Ofi Press to produce a special edition of poems by young poets, whose work was translated into Spanish and published in both languages.
Now the YPN has a new collaboration with The Ofi Press which was to read the three poems by Mexican poets below, choose a theme from their work to create your own poem! The
Jack told Young Poets Network, “For us, connection is vital – whether it be producing a bilingual edition of West African or Geordie poetry, or hosting our monthly reading series in the heart of Mexico City with writers and poets from all over the world. It personally gives me a massive buzz to connect with people from all over the world, hear new perspectives, build friendships and give writers a little step up through publication and further collaboration. We are looking forward very much to hearing from you!”
The young poets were asked to read the poems below and Jack’s short discussion of their themes. Then choose one of these themes, or others you find in the poems, to write their own new poem.
“Let there be no lack
of hammers and chisels”
From ‘Noisy Homeland’ by Alberto Blanco, translated by Elise Miller
Jack says: I love this poem, which brings to life the business and the bustle of Mexico City. Is yours a noisy homeland, or something more tranquil? What does your homeland, your identity, mean to you?
“we must face towards the rising sun
so that our hands talk
with the shadows that inhabit this moorland”
From ‘a vision’ by Georgina Mexía-Amador
Jack says: This poem explores humanity’s battle with nature in a dreamlike state. Who do we battle with? In what do we find adversity? What visions do you see in your dreams?
“Caress the paranoia
Before and after us
a war begins.”
From ‘II’ by Ingrid Valencia, translated by Laura Venables
Jack says: What does it mean to exist? Our lives are but a tiny drop of time in the grand ocean of infinity. What does our existence mean? What is faith? How do we deal with our own frail immortality?
A huge thank you to all of the young poets who sent in their work, to Rachel Piercey and to our Mexican judges. The following poems were selected by Alberto Blanco, Ingrid Valencia and Georgina Mexía-Amador out of 140 entries. The standard of entries was extremely high and we are delighted to present the work of 12 poets from around the world aged 25 and under. Congratulations to the following poets whose work was selected for publication with us!
"Mexico" - Fernanda Olivares
"New Year's Day" - Mollie Davidson
"For a River" - Emily Zhang
"the rising sun" - Anna Leader
"Refract" - Lauren Maltas
"Dear Diary" - Rachel Wood
"Plot" - Sohini Basak
"Flourescent Bulbs Bloom" - Anna Farley
"Walk" - Jerrold Yam
"Echo" - Linus Rowe
"Just One Drop" - Olivia Watkins
"Space" - Roxy Dunn