9780811223966 198

Extracting the Stone of Madness

Poems 1962 - 1972


Alejandra Pizarnik (Author), Yvette Siegert (Translator)

Our Retail Price:£13.99

Add to Basket


The first full-length collection in English by one of Latin America’s most significant twentieth-century poets. 

Revered by the likes of Octavio Paz and Roberto Bolano, Alejandra Pizarnik is still a hidden treasure in the U.S. Extracting the Stone of Madness: Poems 1962–1972 comprises all of her middle to late work, as well as a selection of posthumously published verse. Obsessed with themes of solitude, childhood, madness and death, Pizarnik explored the shifting valences of the self and the border between speech and silence. In her own words, she was drawn to "the suffering of Baudelaire, the suicide of Nerval, the premature silence of Rimbaud, the mysterious and fleeting presence of Lautréamont,” as well as to the “unparalleled intensity” of Artaud’s “physical and moral suffering.”


“Pizarnik reveals an ecstasy in the instability of language and draws from it a mercurial, pathetic truth.” — Los Angeles Review of Books

“In compressed fragments, stark monostichs, and dense prose poems, the late Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik’s oeuvre presents a rich inner world built from a litany of symbols.” — Scout Poetry

“I...was blown away by the thoughtful interiority—by turns delicate and brutal—of this Argentine poet, who died of an intentional drug overdose at the age of 36. The poems in this new collection, translated by Yvette Siegert and published earlier this year, show a preoccupation with the space—not so large, but also interminably vast—between the workings of the mind and those of the natural world.” — Jane Yong Kim, The Atlantic

“The darkly beautiful poems of the great Argentinian writer Alejandra Pizarnik generate an immersive, Gothic atmosphere in which art is both violence and respite, contamination and antidote, hell and paradise.” — The Boston Review

“"On the page she carves out spaces of solitude and silence in which language is reduced to its very essence..."” — Matthew Phipps, The Millions

“There is an aura of almost legendary prestige that surrounds the life and work of Alejandra Pizarnik” — César Aira

“To the allure Pizarnik has, as a figure wrapped in mystery and an inexplicable personality, must be added the fact that, word by word, she “wrote the night,” and the reader who takes an interest in her will discover that this nocturnal writing, which had a great sense of risk, was born of the purest necessity, something seen in very few 20th-century writers: an extreme lyric and a tragedy.” — Enrique Vila-Matas

“Each of Pizarnik's poems is the cube of an enormous wheel.” — Julio Cortázar

“Read Alejandra Pizarnik's poems. They're remarkable.” — The Poetry Foundation

“Pizarnik made a huge impact on Spanish-language poetry, taking it down to its darkest depths and abandoning it there, leaving one of the most fascinating legacies in Argentine literature.” — The Argentina Independent

“Brilliant, taut poems.” — Flavorwire

“Pizarnik's poems flare up like deep, bright flames.” — Publisher's Weekly

“This overdue bilingual edition showcases the exquisite range of her short career…Pizarnik's brilliant, otherworldy voice will resonate for generations.” — Booklist

“To bear down on Pizarnik’s scant lines is to find their essential rigor: nothing is brittle, nothing breaks.” — Joshua Cohen, Harper's

Also By: Alejandra Pizarnik View all by author...

  • 9780811227742 72

    The Galloping Hour: French Poems

    Alejandra Pizarnik, Patricio Ferrari, Forrest Gander

    Paperback, 2018

    A beautifully produced and exquisitely translated edition of French poems by “the best exponent of the poetry of introversion and metaphorical delirium” (Italo Calvino)
  • 9780811221849 72

    Poetry Pamphlets 1-12 (Boxed Set)

    Osama Alomar, Lydia Davis, Hilda Doolittle, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Forrest Gander, Oliverio Girondo, Susan Howe, Sylvia Legris, Bernadette Mayer, Dunya Mikhail, Alejandra Pizarnik, Nathaniel Tarn, Eliot Weinberger

    Paperback, 2015

    Collections 1-12 in New Directions' Poetry Pamphlet series
  • 9780811220965 72

    A Musical Hell

    Alejandra Pizarnik, Yvette Siegert

    Paperback, 2013

    The first book of poems by Pizarnik to be published in its entirety in the U.S., poetry at the edge of impossibility.

Also By: Yvette Siegert View all by author...

  • 9780811220965 72

    A Musical Hell

    Alejandra Pizarnik, Yvette Siegert

    Paperback, 2013

    The first book of poems by Pizarnik to be published in its entirety in the U.S., poetry at the edge of impossibility.