Ana Maria Hernando and Kenneth Robinson met in Peru in 2005. While traveling and studying with their friend and teacher, Don Américo Yábar, they learned of each other’s love of poetry. On quiet evenings during their journey, they shared poems with their fellow travelers, reading in both Spanish and English. This became, on their many subsequent trips to Peru, a tradition of sorts, and over time they sought occasions to perform their poetry together in the U.S.
As they grew more familiar with each other’s work, they often conferred with one another about translation. Through the intimacy with the words, feeling, and rhythm of poetry that translation demands, they were inspired to develop the Salka Poetry Project. In Quechua, the language of the Andes, salka refers to “undomesticated energy”–energy that is free in nature and within ourselves -the fountain from which artists and saints drink. Ana and Kenneth wanted to create a bilingual book of poems charged with, and reflective of, this quality of energy. Since performance has played an important part in the evolution of the project, they wish to include a recording of readings of their work.
They plan to offer their book through museums, publishers, and other venues. Also, master printmaker Bud Shark, from Shark’s Ink, will collaborate with them to create a limited edition of twenty handmade books that will include art and poetry. Sales from this limited edition will go to support the publication of the Salka Poetry Project.
Ana María and Kenneth are very grateful for the encouragement and enthusiasm they have received from their teacher Don Américo Yábar.