Of Such a Nature/Índole by José Kozer


, , ,


Apri9780817359058l is National Poetry Month – a celebration of poetry’s vital place in our culture. Poetry and poetics has long held a prominent place in the University of Alabama Press’ publishing program. In addition to works of original poetry, our Modern and Contemporary Poetics Series provides an outlet both the finest in academic scholarship and works that depart from conventional stylistic constraints to develop new modalities for critical thinking.

This month, we are pleased to publish an English translation from one of Latin America’s most distinguished poets—José Kozer. Kozer is one of the most influential contemporary Cuban poets working today. A key figure in the neobaroque movement within contemporary Latin American poetry, he is one of only three Cubans to ever win the Pablo Neruda Prize given by the Neruda Foundation in Chile.

Of Such a Nature/Índole is a bilingual edition translated into English by Peter Boyle. In addition, Boyle provides an extensive introduction placing Kozer’s work in a critical context. The Spanish word “índole” can be translated as: “a type,” “a sort,” or “that sort of thing.” The title, Índole, therefore suggests that the poems gathered in this collection, are all instances of specific types of situations, things, or experiences. Kozer has gathered a collection of poems about everyday life—cleaning one’s dentures, a woman leaning over a bowl of oatmeal, a salamander glimpsed while eating breakfast—but always with death not far away.

Author Photo_HighRes_Grayscale

José Kozer

Of Such a Nature/Índole is a remarkable collection of poems published in Cuba in 2012, covering such materials as Kozer’s Jewish heritage, his Cuban childhood and ongoing connection to the Island, Buddhist and East Asian traditions of spiritual practice, his everyday life in Florida with Guadalupe, ageing, illness, and the shadow of death. Irony and humor are there as well, and to read these poems is to be in the presence of the full seriousness of poetry and its playfulness, its ability to undercut all pretensions.

José Kozer was born in Cuba and moved to New York, where he taught Spanish language and literature at Queens College, CUNY, for over thirty years. He currently resides in Hallandale, Florida, writing poems and reading as he pleases.

Peter Boyle is an Australian poet and translator of poetry. In 2013 he received the NSW Premier’s Prize for literary translation. As a poet he is the author of seven collections, most recently Ghostspeaking and Towns in the Great Deserte presence of the full seriousness of poetry and its playfulness, its ability to undercut all pretensions





The University of Alabama Press will hold a warehouse book sale on April 27-29 at the Bryant Conference Center. This will be the first such sale since the fall of 2016. During the three-day sale, the Press will offer hundreds of new and backlist books at incredibly deep discounts. Some markdowns will be as high as 50 to 90 percent of the list prices. And some book will be priced as low as $2.

All subjects that UAP publishes on will be represented at the sale. Books about Alabama and southern history, civil rights, fiction and literature, archaeology, anthropology, natural history, and communications among will be available at great prices.

The warehouse sale is an ideal time to browse and acquire books by authors of local and national note. In the past, shoppers have used the sale as an opportunity to stock up on Christmas, birthday, host/hostess, and occasional gifts.

The sale is open to the public and there is no entry fee. Cash, debit/credit cards, and checks will be accepted for payment.

The book sale will be held in the Rast Room of the Bryant Conference Center at the following dates and times:

  • Friday, April 27 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 28 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m
  • Sunday, April 29 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

University Press Week: Knowledge Matters

The University of Alabama Press is a proud member of The Association of American University Presses (AAUP). And this Friday brings to a close to our annual University Press Week, a celebration of the contributions of university presses to the literary and intellectual world.

tom_wilsonIn keeping with the theme “#LookItUP: Knowledge Matters” for #UPWeek 2017, UAP chose to highlight our on-campus library system. Below is a conversation with Tom Wilson, Associate Dean for Research and Technology.

What is something the library does to encourage research?

Beyond simply making the resources available, there is fair amount of time spent showing people how to conduct library research and how to use library material. We’re very supportive of the process of seeking knowledge, and if I may use the t-word, truth, through that process.

We work with students, and faculty too, to help them understand the importance of the process that one goes through to judge the information that they’ve come across. We invest in providing a diverse set of resources and then training people to use them to their benefit.

In what ways does the library promote scholarship?

For instance, when we first work with people on search strategy and how to break down their topic we teach them to determine and evaluate sources of their research. This will include a variety of things such as popular press, news source, scholarly research or whatever they might come across. We want them to understand and weigh the key elements that make up scholarly resources such as peer review and strong editorial functions.




The UPWeek display at the Amelia Gorgas Library

Where do you see our missions overlapping?

The most direct area, of course, is that University Presses work in producing quality scholarly resource and our mission to acquire them and make them available to our larger community. So, we have a hand in hand relationship to generate and disseminate scholarly information.

Share with us your thoughts on open access scholarship?

We’re very supportive of quality open access scholarship. And, if you view this without financial considerations, for the sake of discussion, open source doesn’t mean of lesser quality. It’s just a different mechanism for funding the operation

There are some very different models that have been pursued that demonstrate it’s possible to be cost effective, especially regarding the end user.

In the online environment, both publishers and libraries have to rethink what the notion of production and dissemination means. I think there’s a lot of territory where we can work together to address the issue of broader access to scholarly materials.

How can the relationship between university presses and libraries be stronger?

The first thing is having the conversation about shared goals and the resources. What can we bring to bear for making research and scholarship more widely available and how can we engage a larger audience in the creation as well in the consumption of those resources.

But I think if we’re already talking, what needs to be dealt with first occurs at a strategic level – where we would like to be somewhere down the line. There are lots of skills sets and expertise on both sides; it’s advantageous all the way around

For instance, at our Digital Humanities Center, we’re involved in creating content. It’s more project focused but it does provide a venue for collaborative development between scholars and hosting of research agendas. But we’re exploring ways to make sure these things are available for longer term and not just for a few years.