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Humberto Ak’abal

Humberto Ak'abal writes in Kichè (Maya) at his home far from his birthplace (1952) in Momostenango, Totonicapán, Guatemala. He is one of the most widely translated poets writing in an indigenous language in the Americas, his work having appeared in the U.S., as well as Austria, France, Switzerland, and Germany and in a large hardcover edition sponsored by the United Nations. He reads easily in a very deep voice that somehow reminds one of the sound a great tree would make, if trees spoke Kiché. Some of his work has been translated into English by Robert Bly, other poems by Dennis Tedlock. He has received the Blaise Cendras Prize from Switzerland, as well as many prizes and honorary degrees in Latin America.

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