poems for a pain log

Liliana Campazzo traveled to La Rioja twelve times. Twelve times, from Viedma. One thousand five hundred kilometers separate both provincial capitals according to the route recommended by Google Maps, which was the route chosen by her. But every outward trip to La Rioja had its return trip to Viedma. The count is three thousand one hundred ninety-four kilometers. For the twelve times she traveled them, she travels thirty-eight thousand three hundred and twenty-eight kilometers. All traveled over the course of one year, 2022.

Hotel Triunfo is the consequence of such an adventure, a book of poems written, literally, in transit and inspired by those very long and lonely – because Liliana always traveled alone – trips from south to north and from north to south but which were always written in the north south section, that is, during the return. She realized that yesterday morning, while she was talking to RÍO NEGRO Diary

While she was doing her thing, Liliana Campazzo learned of the death of her sister, who lived in La Rioja, almost at the same time that another death, much closer, at least geographically, occurred, that of her great friend and also Viedmense poet Nito Fritz. Under these circumstances, she undertook successive trips to northwest Argentina without stopping.

Hotel Triunfo, by Liliana Campazzo, published by Ediciones Las Guachas, the independent and feminist publishing house of San Martín de los Andes.

Therefore, it is not surprising that, throughout the interview with this newspaper, the poet based in the El Cóndor resort described her book as a sad book, a log of pain. “It is a book written in transit,” she will also say of Hotel Triunfo, another beautiful edition by Las Guachas, the San Martín de los Andes publishing house.

For a long time I was traveling from Viedma to La Rioja for different reasons, the death of my sister. I had to discover a different route, as I am a traveler from the south. Going north meant another landscape, perceiving other realities that I had not even imagined.” And then he will say about Hotel Triunfo that it is a painful book because it is a book about a year in which his life was surrounded by losses. “I don’t know, I felt lost, it was a strange book for me.”

Hotel Triunfo was a strange book for Campazzo in many ways, from the way he wrote the poems to the places where that writing occurred. She is used to doing it at her house, this time she did it at service stations and on shoulders, on the side of the roads. And she, who was always very careful with her texts, this time (let herself) let go: the poems written in transit have almost no corrections, what is read is (almost) what she wrote in those circumstances. “Yes, it is an absolutely spontaneous book,” she summarizes.

Route 40. “I always write in motion,” says Liliana Campazzo.

“I write a lot while traveling, my writing state really appears when I drive. It is the usual thing for me, but, generally, it is on the way back, at home already sitting, remembering the moments of the trip, this one, however, I wrote in transit,” says Liliana.

Perhaps not all of them were written along the way, the author suggests. “It seems to me that I wrote one at home, which had to do with when I was opening the boxes I brought with my sister’s things or when I arrived and found the house in disarray. The others are all traveling. On the return trip, curiously.”

Her books, says Liliana, always take place in the privacy of her home and with the smallest and most everyday things that inhabit it. “For me there is a world, like a domestic poetics that has always been very comfortable for me and this book was not comfortable for me. This book was, as it were, very strong in this matter of being in a universe that was unknown to me, which is the universe of death. It is a book written from the breakdown of domestic intimacy. A book about being outside and that is strong, now that I am saying it, I just realized.”

“The book goes through the death of my sister and the death of my dearest friend, who was the poet Nito Fritz.”

Liliana Campazzo

It is a very rare book, Liliana repeats when explaining Hotel Triunfo. “I never write a book like that, suddenly, I am very obsessive with corrections, with the limitation of language. My personal search in poetry is to reduce language to a minimal circumstance that is within the small universe of my house. I like to write small things. I like the minimum, I like miniatures. And this book is a book from outside.” A book of thirty thousand kilometers, what a universe that of Hotel Triumph is.

Divided into three parts, the first works as an introduction to what will follow in the second and third parts. Oscillating between real travel and dream journeys, the poetics of that first part predisposes us to the poetics that will come. Not for nothing does the first poem of that second part begin by saying

You could start the poem


“the year my sister died”

Only then do places, names, experiences, paths and everything that Liliana could express in her poetics of pain happen.

“It’s a sad book,” Liliana says again and explains: “It’s a sad book because I knew that I had to go, that there was a certain family obligation to take charge of the situation, but, at the same time, here I left to my affections, to the closest thing I have, also in bad conditions because the book goes through the death of my sister and the death of my dearest friend, who was the poet Nito Fritz. And I needed to be here and I needed to be there, so in my writing there was this question almost of exorcism or of feeling what I thought in this duality that the situation presented me.

Born in Buenos Aires, Liliana Campazzo settled in Sierra Grande in 1977, and since 1992, she has lived in Viedma.

Stopping to write, says Liliana, was like stopping to change a tire, like putting help on the road. The poem was a help and well, then I got lost on the route several times because my GPS was cut off, my GPS was cut off in every sense, even the emotional one.”

Why Hotel Triunfo? “Because it was the place where I suffered the most,” Liliana confesses. “Because of the emotional conditions and for having arrived at that place at around two in the morning and it being the only possibility to take shelter and sleep for a while and well, because of that strange reception that did not want to accommodate single women.”

The place where the Hotel Triunfo is located is called Buena Esperanza, a town in southern Puntano, and it seemed like a trap for everything that had happened, Campazzo reflects. “Arriving at a place that is Buena Esperanza and not finding a place to sleep, not finding a place to eat and without gasoline because it was not sold that night.” She slept there twice, once on the way there and once on the way back on different trips. The details of those circumstances are scattered throughout several poems. In truth, thirty-odd thousand kilometers are.

Could the book have been called something else? No, he answers without hesitation. “The book began with this idea of ​​putting together the texts that I had written on the trip and the most definitive thing was that from the beginning I knew that it had to be called Hotel Triunfo. In a certain way, it will be to the same place where everything will end up and perhaps it will be called Hotel Triunfo and not heaven.”

Hotel Triunfo is another edition of Las Guachas, the independent and feminist publishing house from San Martín de Los Andes. “The Guachas are gauchas,” says Liliana, laughing. «They gave me the opportunity in this very difficult context to edit books. But Las Guachas made a little place for me and told me ‘we want to publish you, we want you to be with us in the bibliographical fund’. And well, when I finished the book I sent it to Tamara Padrón and she, generously, said yes, we are going to take charge of it because it is a book that we like. “I am grateful to the publisher because without them I could not have done it.”

Liliana Campazzo She was born in Buenos Aires in 1959 and has lived in Río Negro since 1977. Teacher, librarian, she reads and shares what she reads. She is also the coordinator of writing workshops, Education through Art workshops, and reading promotion workshops.

Some of her published books are Firme como el acaso (Fund. Banco Pcia. de Neuquén), De no poder (Feminaria, 1992), Las mujeres de mi casa (Patagonia Poesía, Chile, 1998), Quieta para la foto (Simurg, 2003), The voices of writers from Patagonia (Asoc. Culturas del Sur del Mundo, Chiloé, 2004), Yuyo seca (Limón, 2006), Written in glass (Llanto de mudo, 2009), A boca debird (Vela al Wind, 2011), Out of Play ( Espacio Hudson, 2021) and The Trips Now (La Ballestea Magnifica, 2021) and Hotel Triunfo ( Ediciones Las Guachas, 2024).

In 2010 his work Yuyo Seco was translated and published in Italy, participating in a cycle of readings in Rome, Barcelona, ​​Madrid and at the Casa Argentina of the University City of Paris.

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