Sunday, 23 September 2007


Fine writing from Africa, Latin America and the Middle East


He was the last armed prophet - and became the first truly global icon of the modern era following his death at the hands of the CIA-backed Bolivian army.

Complex and charismatic, Ernesto “Che” Guevara has been immortalised in popular culture as the archetypal, self-sacrificing rebel with a cause.

His martyr’s death on 9 October 1967 transformed him into the poster-boy of revolution - but also inspired poets and songwriters the world over to put pen to paper.

To coincide with the 40th anniversary of his execution, Che in Verse reproduces 134 poems and songs from 53 countries about this enigmatic Argentine-Cuban revolutionary. The book contains 19 poems by north American poets, including Allen Ginsberg, Robert Lowell, John Haines, Greg Hewett, Michael McClure and Thomas Merton.

It examines how Che was celebrated or remembered from before his death to the present day, and it explores why Guevara - himself a gun-toting poet - has achieved a level of sanctification comparable to Christ.

Edited by Gavin O’Toole and Georgina Jiménez, Che in Verse is published by Aflame Books. It brings together contributions both published and unpublished by poets and songwriters living and dead - ranging from Che’s fellow revolutionaries and anti-colonial freedom-fighters to two Nobel Prize winners, a gay rights activist, Brazil’s minister of culture, a Cistercian monk, and a Cuban prisoner of conscience languishing in the “Alcatraz of the Rockies”.

Gavin O’Toole is an academic and journalist who conducted research for Che in Verse under the auspices of the Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London, while a Visiting Postdoctoral Fellow. His first two books were Politics Latin America (2007) and the translation of Oswaldo Salazar’s From the Darkness (2007). Georgina Jiménez Reynoso is a Mexican freelance writer and translator. She has translated and written for several British newspapers and writes book and film reviews for the Latin American Review of Books.

“One radiant face driven mad with a rifle” - Allen Ginsberg, USA

“A spirit rides” - Liam Ó Comain, Ireland

“…you are the Jesus of the modern age” - K.G. Sankara Pillai, India

“… it is you who are the poet.” - Miguel Barnet, Cuba

“The worms have murdered the tiger. Che is dead.” - Joe Rosenblatt, Canada

Che in Verse, edited by Gavin O’Toole and Georgina Jiménez ISBN: 9780955233951 Distributed in North America by Independent Publishers Group (

For more information, contact: Richard Bartlett: 0779 3062327
01722 421522 Email:

No comments: