Semantics of the World

Selected Poems
By Rómulo Bustos Aguirre
Edited and Translated by Nohora Arrieta FernándezMark A. Sanders



A poet of both the body and spirit, the work of Rómulo Bustos Aguirre often explores the nature of existence at the turn of the twenty-first century—humankind’s relationship to itself and the universe, the meaning or purpose, if any, of human existence, and the daunting task of discerning that meaning. Critics have described his poetry as highly refined lyricism, metaphysical, existential, and at times erotic. Semantics of the World introduces the English-speaking world to the exciting work of Rómulo Bustos Aguirre, one of Colombia’s most celebrated living writers.

This selection of extraordinary poems, edited and translated by Nohora Arrieta Fernández and Mark A. Sanders, presents Bustos Aguirre’s works in Spanish alongside their English translations and features the critical apparatus necessary for making Bustos Aguirre’s poetry more accessible to students, scholars, and the general reading public. The volume offers the perfect introduction to Rómulo Bustos Aguirre and his poetry for critical and popular audiences throughout the Anglosphere.

Contributor Bios
Rómulo Bustos Aguirre teaches literature at the University of Cartagena. He is the author of ten major collections of poetry and is one of Colombia’s most celebrated writers. He has been awarded numerous awards including, most recently, the National Poetry Prize by the Ministry of Culture.
Nohora Arrieta Fernández is a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA. She has published essays and articles on Latin American literature and visual arts, comics, and the Afro-Latin American Diaspora.
Mark A. Sanders is a professor of English and Africana studies at the University of Notre Dame. His works include A Black Soldier’s Story: The Narrative of Ricardo Batrell and the Cuban War of Independence and Afro-Modernist Aesthetics and the Poetry of Sterling A. Brown.