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Rise and fall of the Network of wild poets, the literary movement inspired by Roberto Bolaño


One of the last currents of underground literature in Mexico was made up of young people born between 1984 and 1990 with parricidal objectives and infra-realistic inheritances.

The Chilean poet and novelist Roberto Bolaño, in 2003 in Paris.Raphael GAILLARDE / Getty

Gómez de la Serna used to say in one of his greguerías that "only the poet has a moon watch."

The poet knows when things begin and how they end.


The Wild Poets Network, as a literary manifestation, began from another that had already ended: infra-realism. Of winks and parallels, this Network was forged by a parricidal need. "His commitment is to spread a great generational renewal movement in Mexico", is stated in his general manifesto signed in 2008. "We do not want to be more young poetry, but new Mexican poetry", dictates the leader of the movement, Yaxkin Melchy, in the same minutes.

The fabric of this Network began in 2007 when the poet, editor and translator Yaxkin Melchy (Mexico City, 1985) made the searches of two groups of poets born between 1984 and 1990 coincide. On the one hand, Devrayativa: made up mainly of his colleagues of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the UNAM;

on the other, the attendees of the literary workshop of Félix Luis Viera, of the José Martí Cultural Center, with whom he edited the magazine



This workshop was made up of people from different careers and other fields, but in both cases “there was an affinity and interest in poetry;

we wanted to show our first works ”, says Yaxkin to EL PAÍS.

More information

  • The Mexican poetic network

  • Poetry explodes in the networks

  • Do 'millennials' dream of old writers?

From the allusion to Roberto Bolaño's novel,

Los detectives savages

, Yaxkin Melchy, winner of the 2009 Elías Nandino National Young Poetry Prize for the book

Los poemas que vi por un telescopio

, argues that the work of the Chilean writer was important to them because it raises an ethical question. “Before a poetics, we had an ethical search. A poetic ethics sustained in the question what does writing mean for us? ”. On the other hand, the influence of another Chilean poet, Héctor Hernández Montesinos, as well as the manifestos of the Zero Hour Movement - the literary trend that drives infra-realism - amassed that scriptural ethic they were pursuing. “We wanted to create a community through poetry, to live poetically even in an environment as hostile as Mexico City. I think that was the heart of Bolaño's proposal or the Zero Hour Movement, ”says Melchy.

Another of the collective's intentions was, says the leader, to criticize elitism that is part of the tradition of Mexico's cultural circuits.

"We wanted to create our own magazine, editorial, and our poetry festivals."

Under this position, they began to edit Mexican poets of the generation, but in turn rescued poets - mostly South Americans - from other times, such as Enrique Verástegui (Peru, 1950) or Paula Ilabaca (Chile, 1979).

“They are very powerful poetic voices that sometimes in Mexico are not valued, they are not reviewed, they are not commented on.

Being half Mexican and half Peruvian, I am the heir to two cultures.

There was a will for those poetics and languages ​​to circulate ”.

The José Martí Cultural Center in Mexico City, in 2017.Selene Pacheco / CUARTOSCURO

The Internet began to break through with the advantages of the Internet until then known.

Somehow they set a precedent for the digital publications that now abound on the web.

Through Blogger, an easily accessible content manager, members began self-publishing their work as

downloadable PDF



In those years, the electronic book or ePub was not yet so popular, so the innovative digital publishing proposal was successful as it was available to readers around the world.

"Prestigious writers such as Heriberto Yépez wrote to us to know technically how we did the online montage of the books," the poet and essayist Manuel de J. Jiménez, who was part of the Wild Poets Network, tells this newspaper.

Thanks to that opening and the


On the Internet, many of these new writers who were moving away from the canon began to stand out in other latitudes of the globe. "David Meza, one of the youngest poets on the web, was widely read in Peru and Spain, where it was even published." As the years progressed, the track of many of them was lost. Such was the case of Aurora Zúñiga, one of the few poets who belonged to the group. “She was an extraordinary poet who disappeared from the map. Nobody knows what happened to her. He had psychiatric problems and I think he changed his sex, ”says Jiménez. From Zúñiga the publication of

Primary Colors

is known

, a collection of poems that hints from the first lines of something disturbing: "From here / I will wait sitting for everything to begin / until the skyscrapers of the stretch move away / and liberate this city of mine / to continue tormenting the world."

For Manuel de J. Jiménez, author of books such as

Los autos perdidos


Interpretación celeste (blue braided)

(2013), or his most recent

lawyer Torri, disenchanted lawyer

(2021), the Network of wild poets “did not want make an extension, a second part of the real movement of the


; it was only Bolaño's fiction that motivated us to emulate a sense of walking. Unlike many collectives where they advertised aesthetic positions, with us there were people who wrote from very classical to experimental ways. Our movement did not raise the idea of ​​authority ”.

It is Jiménez who notes that the end of the Network, if not official, occurred in 2011. The members embarked on new routes and the majority stopped writing.

They became just another


, that absurd Melville character who one day without a word leaves the job avoiding any explanation.

Why should we keep writing? Yaxkin wonders.

“A mature poet knows how to listen to his own poems.

He knows when he has fulfilled, when he must depart.

When the writer does not mature, all he does is drag his first poetics moved by his own vanity, by his desire to appear everywhere.

You have to know how to resign ”.

The truth is that the Network of Wild Poets inherited from others the possibility of undertaking a commitment to the literary cause.

It was an attempt at a scriptural outburst that bet on the alternative and the validity of what could be seen as ancient.

"You have to risk being wrong," warns one of his manifestos.

"And continue on the path of poetry / because the path of poetry / is not what you have written / it is the flower / that blooms in the dustbin," says Melchy.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2021-05-18

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