This past weekend, the Chilean government acknowledged what many had long suspected — that, writes NPR, “the Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda might have been killed [or, to be more precise, murdered] during the aftermath of the 1973 coup that brought Gen. Augusto Pinochet to power.” Previously the government had maintained that prostate cancer was the cause of death.
If you’re looking for a happier revelation, then I can tell you this: Last year, Chilean archivists “discovered a cache of previously unseen and unpublished poems written by Neruda. The collection—written in notebooks and on scraps of paper in the poet’s own hand—includes a sampling of the ardent love poems for which Neruda is famous.” That’s according to Copper Canyon Press, which has been entrusted by Pablo Neruda’s estate “to bring these lost poems to a North American audience for the first time.” And it will only happen with your help.
Right now, Copper Canyon Press has a Kickstarter campaign underway to raise a total of $50,000. Funds will go towards the production of a beautiful book translated by the award-winning translator and poet Forrest Gander. With 23 days to go, they have so far $32,2215 raised. But there’s still $18,000+ to go, and it would be great if Open Culture readers could help move the needle. Those who support this project will be among the first to read these lost poems in English. And speaking of firsts, don’t miss these related items in our archive: Hear Pablo Neruda Read His Poetry In English For the First Time, Days Before His Nobel Prize Acceptance (1971) and Pablo Neruda’s Historic First Reading in the US (1966) in our archive.