Sergio Raimondi (1968) is a poet, academic and cultural organiser from the city of Bahía Blanca, on the south coast of Buenos Aires province. Trained as a literary specialist, Raimondi has for many years taught at the Universidad Nacional del Sur. He has a particular interest in Latin poetry, as evidenced both by formal features of his work (particularly the intricacies of his syntax) and his translations of Catullus into Spanish (Catulito, 1999).
Raimondi’s Poesía civil (Civil poetry, 2001) marks a watershed in Argentine verse, representing a culmination of the starkly realist or objetivista (objectivist) poetry of the 1990s, but also setting a new course for many writing in the 2000s. The collection is eminently literary, with references to Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, Dante and the English metaphysical poets, in poems written in long, carefully measured lines. Via engagements with Antonio Gramsci, Bertolt Brecht and Paul Valèry, it questions the social status and role of poetry. And it is rooted in Raimondi’s cultural and community work at the Museo del Puerto, an oral history centre in the industrial port-town of Ingeniero White, adjacent to Bahía Blanca. Raimondi’s fashioning of what he calls, drawing on Brecht, an ‘epic’ form of poetry interacts directly with the mission of the museum, capturing the connections between everyday life and the flows of capital and power through the region.
Raimondi has won a number of prestigious awards – from the Fundación Antorchas, as well as a Guggenheim fellowship in 2007 – and garnered widespread critical acclaim for his poetry, which has been translated into several languages, including two books into German. His current project, Para un diccionario crítico de la lengua (Towards a critical dictionary of language), is an encyclopaedic work that attempts to catalogue, in verse, the political life of a society. Here Raimondi accentuates certain features of his earlier writing: a basis in detailed research; a distanced, even ironic voice; and great prosodic care. A selection was released in German in 2012, but the full collection is yet to be published in Spanish. Aside from poetry, Raimondi is also an essayist and has penned scholarly articles on J.B. Alberdi, György Lukács and D.F Sarmiento.
Poesía civil. VOX, Bahía Blanca, 2001
Translation (by Raimondi)
Catulito. VOX, Bahía Blanca, 2001
Für ein kommentiertes Wörterbuch/Para un diccionario crítico de la lengua. Vert. Timo Berger. Berenberg, Berlin, 2012
Zivilpoesie. Vert. Timo Berger. WVB, Berlin, 2005
Sergio Raimondi et al., Los clásicos argentinos, Sarmiento-Hernández-Borges-Arlt: los cuatro máximos escritores nacionales según once ensayistas contemporáneos. EMR, Rosario 2005.
Sergio Raimondi in the Festival de Poesía Latinoamericana Salida al Mar 2007 (in Spanish)
Sergio Raimondi on the radio programme ‘AM’ (in Spanish)