Casting Off

Trade Paper – $16.95

ISBN 978-1-880684-98-6
Publication Date
April 2003
Page Count
114 pages
Trim Size
5.5 x 8.5

Casting Off

Claribel Alegría

Now in her 70s, Claribel Alegria is universally recognized as the major living poet of El Salvador. Casting Off extends the themes Alegria explored in Sorrow: the loss of a loved one, solitude, and reflections on the past. As the title -implies, this collection is also a lyric farewell: "My footsteps are leading / toward quiet solitude / toward the star-silence / that has no more questions."

She is becoming increasingly well-known in the U.S. as a result of her many tours, readings, and residencies. She will return to the U.S. in the spring to promote Casting Off.

The English versions in this bilingual edition are by renowned translator Margaret Sayers Peden, who beautifully preserves the lyric quality of this major poet at the height of her career.

About the Author

Claribel Alegría was a Salvadorian-Nicaraguan poet, essayist, novelist, and journalist who was a major voice in the literature of contemporary Central America. She has been called "one of the region's finest writers" by The Washington Post. Alegría published over forty books, including fifteen collections of poetry, and was a recipient of the Casa de las Americas Prize of Cuba. Her works in English include Ashes of Izalco, Luisa in Realityland, and Family Album. She was awarded the 2006 Neustadt International Prize for Literature. She died in 2018.

Margaret Sayers Peden is an American translator and professor emerita of Spanish at the University of Missouri. She lives and works in Columbia, Missouri.


"In an elegant bilingual collection, this all-seeing lyricist turns inward, writing with delicacy and restraint about winding down her life." —Booklist

"Claribel Alegría is a treasure. Nearing eighty, she is an essential Latin American voice, the epitome of lyric bravery. You hold more than poetry in your hands; you hold history." —Martín Espada