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Directory of the Vulnerable and Breathing Underwater Get their New Zealand Debut

On November 4th the Embassies of Italy, Spain, and Switzerland, the High Commission of Canada, the New Zealand Centre for Literary Translation and Wai-te-ata Press, in partnership with the Italian and Spanish Programmes will be hosting the launch of two of Guernica’s newest translations. The Directory of the Vulnerable by Fabiano Alborghetti and translated by Marco Sonzogni, along with Breathing Underwater by Pablo Valdivia and translated by Ross Woods, will have their first New Zealand launches.

The Directory of the Vulnerable is a book in 43 cantos about vulnerable human beings whose feelings and experiences are watched and recorded. By showing the actions and reactions of a credible cross-section of contemporary society, Alborghetti seeks not universality but to stand in the shoes of his subjects.

Pablo Valdivia’s debut collection, Respirar bajo el agua (Breathing Underwater), stands as a conversation between a young man and the world around him. It is a collection tinged with aching nostalgia — an emotion intensified by the often sterile images inspired by the Swedish and English backdrops in many of its poems. Fittingly, Valdivia borrows a line from Natalia Ginzburg to begin one section: “England is beautiful and melancholic.” And, with this epigraph, he succinctly describes his own poems; they are beautiful and melancholic.

When: 5:30pm-7:30pm November 4, 2014

Where: Victoria University of Wellington, Kelburn Parade, Wellington, New Zealand

The event will include readings in English, Italian, and Spanish. Light refreshments will also be served, courtesy of the Embassies of Spain, Italy and Switzerland.

The Directory of the Vulnerable is available on the Guernica website at:

Breathing Underwater is available on the Guernica website at:


Posted in Events, Launches, News, Poetry, Readings.

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