We Reject Nothing (Nada Rechazamos)

  • Born in Panama City on November 17th, 1932, Diana Morán led a life of social, sexual, and political activism that saw her arrested and exiled while still winning the country’s top prize for literature. A poet, union leader, professor, critic, and historian, Morán’s indelible if obscured legacy in Panama remains her ardent advocacy for feminism, the cultures of the isthmus, and a holistic appreciation of art in its myriad forms. We Reject Nothing (Nada Rechazamos) is an excerpt from Reflections Next to Yr Skin (Reflexiones junto a tu piel), forthcoming from Gramma in November, 2017.

    In 1965, her book of poems, Gaviotas de Cruz Abierta, won the Ricardo Miró National Literary Contest of the Republic of Panama. Her students, friends, and peers continued her work even after her exile by the Martínez & Torijjos Junta in 1968. Fearing for her life, she fled to Mexico City where she finished her doctorate at El Colegio de Mexico, worked at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, and continued her polemic resistance to the military governments, imperialism, reactionary contrast, and sexism. Diana Morán died at her desk, still in exile, in 1987.

    Her published works are Eva definida (1959), Ficción e historia: la narrativa de José Emilio Pacheco (1979, with Ivette Jiménez de Baez and Edith Negrín), Soberana presencia de la Patria (1964), En el nombre del Hijo (1966) and Reflexiones junto a tu piel(1982). Her doctoral thesis, Cien Años de Soledad: novela de la desmitificación (1987) and first book, Gaviotas de Cruz Abierta(1992), were both published posthumously.

    About the Translator: Panamanian multimedia artist Ash Ponders lives in the Sonoran Desert making visuals for newspapers and art galleries. His recent work has been covered by the New York Times, BBC, CNN, and Teen Vogue. In his spare time, he translates poems, chases hot air balloons, teaches firearms safety, and tutors adults in both Spanish and English. His translation of Reflexiones junto a tu piel will be published by Gramma in the November, 2017. @ashponders

    We Reject Nothing (Nada Rechazamos) was published by Pinwheel in 2017. Other poems from Ponders' translation of Reflexiones junto a tu piel appear in Brooklyn Rail and Gramma, are forthcoming from PEN, among others.