We also have a trio of poets from Colombia: Amparo Osorio, who is an editor and co-founder of several literary projects and organisations in Colombia, writes poems that are short in length but rich in elusive, nature-infused imagery. José Luis Díaz Granados’s ‘The Perpetual Feast’ takes up the theme of history, though that of a personal rather than a wider political history. “My history is full of hisses and tangles, / of voices and events, of bloody questions” he writes, challenging the view of history as a linear, chronological narrative. José Zuleta Ortiz ’s poems, on the other hand, are seldom written in the first person. Rather, they focus often on the lives of other people or on the poet’s observations of the outside world: the doorkeeper of the ‘Santa Barbara Hotel’, a girl on a “conjugal visit”, a spider descending and ascending from its web.
José Zuleta Ortiz . (Colombia, 1960) http://colombia.poetryinternationalweb.org/piw_cms/cms/cms_module/index.php?obj_id=14504&x=1 A poet and short story writer, José Zuleta Ortiz has published five books of poetry and one short story collection, and has been awarded several poetry prizes. He is co-director of the Revista de Poesía Clave and of the review Odradek, el Cuento. He is also director of the program ‘Parole’, which operates in ten Colombian prisons.
We perceive in the poetry of José Zuleta Ortiz an exploration of the underbelly of things, the flip side of customs and etiquette, the rediscovery of external and aspects of people. Words, cleansed of the detritus of centuries of use, misuse and obsolescence, reveal in his poems their primary, intact essence. The content of his work reveals a writer who stands out as one of the original authentic poetic voices of his generation in Colombia.
His is a simple language, shunning the rhetorical and the clamorous. He writes against the tide, in a natural manner. As the poet Elkin Restrepo has said, “Thanks to a priceless gift, José Zuleta has been allowed to work his own natural magic of things, without the deception, intellectualism, and rhetorical flourishes usual among us. [He thus offers us] poems that are clear, sensual, splendid, grasping small rituals and sudden perceptions.”
The collection Emprender la noche (To seize the night) is the poet’s appeal to us to search our dreams for the purpose and truth of every act, every fact, every circumstance.