Ángelo Néstore (Lecce, 1986) is a non-binary queer poet, performer & translator. They were born in Italy and now lives in his adopted city of Malaga. They also are a professor in the Department of Translation and Interpreting of the University of Malaga. They successfully defended their PhD thesis on Comics Translation and Queer Theory. They are director of the poetry publisher Letraversal and co-direct the Irreconciliables International Poetry Festival.

Their first poetry collection was Adán o nada (Bandaàparte Editores). Lawrence Schimel’s translation of their second poetry collection Impure Acts (Indolent Books) was a finalist for the Thom Gunn Award; in the original Spanish, this collection won the 32nd Hiperión Poetry Award. Their third collection, Hágase mi voluntad (Pre-textos) won the 20th Emilio Prados Award. In addition to his work as a poet, they are the Spanish translator of the Ted Hughes award-winning Nobody Told Me by Hollie McNish.

A selection of poems translated by Lawrence Schimel

E io chi sono?

In the morning, I abandon my sex.
At sunset I return
when I strip to enter the shower.

My mother always says I have my father’s shoulders.
With the mirror fogged with steam, my silhouette is broader, more lavish.
I draw a straight line with my fingers, wipe it out with my hand.

My eyes hold the sadness of the dolls
who played at being daughters,
which my parents wound up giving away.
The cold water brings me to my body,
I hide my penis between my legs.

Mama, who do I look like?

(Actos impuros, Hiperión)

If my mother understood Spanish and read my poems

If my mother understood Spanish and read my poems
she’d catch the first plane to Spain.
Her legs would shrink,
she’d amputate her arms,
break her spine in two,
swallow her molars one by one
and her sixty years.
She’d become increasingly smaller,
she’d invent a language,
babbling once more
to be my daughter.

(Actos impuros, Hiperión)

A father and his daughter in the living room of a house in the suburbs

I look in your eyes, but you don’t recognize me,
how long life seems to you in this tiny body,
your dirty hair, just as dirty as your father’s.

Oh, sweet girl with a wolf’s eyes,
I’d tear my skin off to wrap you in it,
how many lives dwell in your finger-trigger,
in your fingers that abandon you every night to belong to others.

Oh, sweet girl who learned to say horror,
show me your tongue thirsty for words,
I’ll show you my empty palms, I’ll kneel before you,
girl-goddess, I know you won’t shoot.

I know you won’t shoot your father in a house in the suburbs,
I know that it’s rage for you when you cry among the rubble
every time a body collapses,
every time a bird dies, I know.
You’ll think that the room is too big,
you’ll think that the world is an enormous room
where a father and a daughter alone caress a beard or dirty hair.

Oh, sweet girl, I know it’s not hate,
I know it’s not hate, it’s the heat of the deserts
that burns the soles of your feet,
that leaves an ancient cold in your bones.
No sweet girl, girl-wolf, girl-kalashnikov, don’t shoot,
don’t shoot,
let me imagine that this house in the suburbs exists for both of us.

I might wish for example that you woke here,
perhaps you and I, for example,
in this room, for example,
in this house in the suburbs, for example.

(Actos impuros, Hiperión)

When I picked the wrong bar

I’m that kind of friend,
always ordering another round in bars.
I have no children,
I am the only son in a long line of bastards
who eat their fill and self-destruct.

My friends are fathers, though,
the kind who hunt for any excuse to come home late;
they always stand me another drink,
never want to let me leave.

They look at me and say a hundred times
how hard it is,
how lucky I am.
They don’t see the ants crawling up my legs,
they don’t see them.
They drink time with their paternal mouths,
they swallow time with their paternal saliva,
and each day I grow smaller and smaller
while their children grow bigger and bigger.
And at forty, fifty,
I’ll return to that same bar on the corner
and those who are kids today will wonder why
there are so many ants in my mouth,
why their fathers’ friend still thinks he’s young.

At fifty, sixty,
who will bring me home,
who will tuck my bones beneath the sheets?
At sixty, , seventy perhaps
who will answer my questions,
who will tell me how hard it is,
how lucky I am
when one day I get confused and order another round
before the lone light of my refrigerator.

(Actos impuros, Hiperión)

English translations also published by


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Correspondences. An Anthology of Contemporary Spanish LGBT Poetry (Egales, 2017)

«Impure Acts devotes itself to a brutal lyricism and edges. Despite being structured in four sections, the book can be divided into two blocks. The first delves into the corporeal cortex of someone who proclaims to belong to «a new race of men,» between the celebration of queer pride and the vindication of a «monstrous» nature that finds a correlation in the mythological minotaur. The second axis of Impure Acts moves us from the sixth to the fourth Commandment in order to project the image of a truncated maternity/paternity. In the sections «Imagined Daughter» and «Songs for an Empty Crib,» the author speaks to us of the affective wasteland of someone who knows that his plans for the future defy the laws of biology and the strict code of civil law.

Néstore recites in his own words  José Agustín Goytisolo‘s Palabras para Julia, and Andrés Neuman‘s Palabras a una hija que no tengo, but manages to give his intimate confessions a political dimension: «My daughter who is not my daughter lives in the suburbs as I do.» At the conclusion of Impure Acts the reader will feel moved before a brazenness that reveals itself without hinting at sensationalism, and the confirmation of witnessing the birth of a powerful voice. The Greeks called it catharsis.»

LUIS BAGUÉ QUÍLEZ, poet & critic

Source/Read more: Una raza nueva


«The poem unfolds with quality (warmth) and vivid beauty, and one asks: What is normality? Who creates it and imposes it? Or is it not that is clean in itself, being as it is part of nature, is already be fully normal? And we understand that desire if beautiful, that the human opens like flowers, and that the plurality we are will continue to be more plural. And yes, what is «normal» in poetry is the good poem. And these poems are, flourishing.»


Source/Read more: Ángelo Néstore, puro transgénero




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