an introduction to Beatriz Badikian

Beatriz Badikian lives among several distinct cultural spheres, and charts her memories of their lands in poetry. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she chose to settle in Chicago where she has married and developed her writing career. Fluent in Spanish and English, she enjoys the best of literary discourse from throughout the Americas.

Her writing, however, roams well beyond the two prairie metropolises. A lot of history has passed between them, and they offer distinct historical and political perspectives. In Buenos Aires, well-known neighbors simply disappeared in the night, sometimes at the hands of the junta, but occasionally of their own will. In Chicago, life is relatively tranquil and nearly oblivious, day-to-day affairs and business as usual -- nothing particularly seems wrong with the world. This tension between the immediacy of loss and the privilege of tranquility is a recurring theme in Badikian's poems and stories.

Badikian invites us on trips north and south between her two home cities, and east-west, too, to Europe. She has followed in refugees' feet in the aftermath of war in Greece. Her poetry takes us to Mexico during the revolution in the early 20th century, loading rifles and cooking tortillas. She she stands beside the women who have become heroes by their sense of essential justice, by their essential intuition of motherhood, their womanhood. Badikian suggests that the foundation of justice is literally no further from us than our families, as accessible as a faithful mother or principled young woman.

¡Recuérdelas! For the sake of justice, remember them. Remember the women. Women in the flux of history. Women making history. Women struggling for some small measure of humanity among the chaos that societies inflict upon themselves and each other. Badikian is their chronicler.

- Kurt Heintz, e-poets network
March 2002
 

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copyright © 2001, Beatriz Badikian & the e-poets network
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