The Annunciation
María Negroni

Translated by Michelle Gil-Montero
ISBN 978-0-900575-81-5 | $18.00 | March 20, 2019

Nothing worries the people in power, nothing threatens them, like the freedom that lies at the end of what we can put into words. More than anything now, I want to step outside of the shelter of the law and the danger of opinion. I want my paintings to get emptier and emptier, to feed the fire that lights the world.

As a writer and critic of hemispheric influence, María Negroni has drawn from sources as diverse as Lautréamont, Pizarnik, and Ridley Scott’s Alien to build a model of art as museo negro–repository of the anti-real, the anti-rational, of resistance itself. Her novel The Annunciation, brought into English with perpetual nimbleness by the poet Michelle Gil-Montero, traces the afterlife of a member of a revolutionary cadre who flees Argentina for Rome amid the state violence of the Dirty War. Visited by spectres of the human and artistic companions of her many past lives, the narrator weighs up the costs of both art and politics, of language and violence, of exultation and extinguishment. In an era of extinctions–including the extinction of hope–The Annunciation is a darkly radiant work, a nightship cruising the galaxy, packed with unlikely resources for the dispossessed, powered by the refusal-to-comply.


“In María Negroni’s The Annunciation, longing is a ruin with wings standing to the left of a narrator who is the endless secret she keeps from herself. It seems Negroni is fluent in Rubble and Vanish, in Word and Sob. I want to collect these languages like earth, keep them in a small pouch, and sew the pouch into the lining of my coat so that I’m never lost. So that I’m always lost. ‘Hold your breath,’ writes Negroni, ‘like you’re about to fly a kite with blue ribbons against an identically blue sky.’ I could read her spooked prose forever.”

—Sabrina Orah Mark, author of Wild Milk


María Negroni (b.1951) is an Argentinian poet, writer, translator, and essayist. She is the author of twelve books of poetry, two novels, and five collections of essays. Previous works translated into English include Islandia: A Poem, Night Journey (both translated by Ann Twitty), Dark Museum, Mouth of Hell, and The Tango Lyrics (all translated by Michelle Gil-Montero).


Michelle Gil-Montero has translated Poetry After the Invention of América: Don’t Light the Flower by Andrés Ajens (Palgrave MacMillan, 2011), Dark Museum (Action Books, 2015), Mouth of Hell (Action Books 2013), and The Tango Lyrics (Quattro Books, 2012) by María Negroni, and This Blue Novel by Valerie Mejer (Action Books, 2015). Gil-Montero is also the author of Attached Houses (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2013). She lives in Pittsburgh and is Associate Professor of English at Saint Vincent College.