Miguel Avero, born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1984, is a poet, narrator, essayist, teacher, and researcher. Co-founder of Orientacion Poesia and On the Path of Dogs. He directs the writing workshop “Puerta Quimera.” He has published several poetry collections including Arca de aserrin (Ediciones en blanco; 2011; republished in 2021 by Ediciones del Demiurgo), the nouvelle Michaela Moon (Travesia Ediciones, 2014; republished in 2015.) In 2016, Avero published the books Let Nobody Ask About You (Bestial Barracuda Babilonica, poetic prose) and La Pieza (Walkie Talkie Ediciones, poetry). He won the first Espacio Mixtura poetry prize with the book Libreta insomne (Editorial Primero de Mayo, 2019). In 2020, he published Haiku mate (Ediciones del Demiurgo, poetry) co-authored with the Minuan Poet Leonardo de Leon. In 2022, Prosperidad, a hybrid text of poetry, essays, and memoirs, was released by Ginko Ediroia. Recently, his book of short stories Michaela Moon y otros tentativas (2023) was published by Ginko Ediroia. Avero’s work has been translated into English and French. Aguas/Waters translated by Jona Colson is his first collection in English. He lives in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Jona Colson is an educator and poet. He graduated from Goucher College with a double Bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish and earned his MFA from American University and a Master’s in Literature/Linguistics from George Mason University. His poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Ploughshares, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. In addition to writing his own poetry, he also translates the Spanish language poetry of Miguel Avero from Montevideo, Uruguay. His translations can be found in Prairie Schooner, Tupelo Quarterly, and Palabras Errantes. He is currently a professor at Montgomery College in Maryland where he teaches English as a Second Language. He is the co-president of the Washington Writers’ Publishing House. He lives in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, DC.  


Agua en la mañana alquitranada

o en la noche que cubre
de cartones el amanecer.

Agua en los tejados anidando.

Agua en la explanada
donde olvidaron sus agujeros
negros las estrellas.

Agua incesante,
agua de a ratos.

Agua en el reflejo
que descubre
el ojo en el espejo.

Agua en la tinta de los versos
que no se escribirán nunca.

Agua rebasando
el vaso frío y ahogado
con una gota inestimable.

Agua en el revuelto río
de nuestra paz interior,
donde jamás caminaremos,
donde ni cenizas quedan.

Agua acampando
en torno al último fogón.


Water in the tar-dark morning

or the night that covers the sunrise
with boxes.

Water nesting on rooftops.

Water in the plaza
where the stars
forgot their black holes.

Constant water,
occasional water.

Water in the reflection
that discovers
the eye in the mirror.

Water in the ink of the verses
that will never be written.

Water overflowing
the cold glass and drowned
with an immensurable drop.

Water in the troubled river
of our inner peace,
where we will never walk,
where no ashes remain.

Water settling
around the last fire.

La Pieza

Hace algunos años
pinté de gris la habitación.

Tallé las gotas
con el martillo de Dufresne.

Hoy todos los desagües mueren
en la ventana sur,
veo el casamiento de los zorros,
y el cielo de Teillier.

Pero también
algunas veces,
en sonámbulos descuidos

pude ver el sol;

hoy lo tapo con un dedo.

The Room

Some years ago
I painted the room gray.

I carved the drops
with the hammer of Dufresne.

Today all the drains die
in the south window,
I see the wedding of the foxes,
and the sky of Teillier.

But also
in sleepwalking carelessness

I could see the sun;

today I cover it with a finger.


Iré por los pasillos
haciendo caso omiso
de los charcos transparentes,
de las eléctricas guiñadas,
de los derruidos calefactores.

Cada puerta esconde un mundo
pero no puedo elegir,
apenas un puntapié́ en alguna de ellas,
antes de regresar corriendo
y tropezar,
chocar, insultar

al dios que sale
de los ascensores
con la bolsa de pan
y la botella de vino.

Mi habitación no tiene
descripción ni número,
solo un flujo que se escapa
por debajo de la puerta.


I will go through the corridors
paying no attention
to the transparent puddles,
the electric winks,
the destroyed heaters.

Each door hides a world,
but I cannot choose,
I just kick some of them,
before running back
and stumbling,
crashing, insulting

the god that comes out
of the elevators
with the bag of bread
and the bottle of wine.

My room does not have
a description or a number,
only a current that escapes
below the door.


Las escaleras
se estremecen

dispuestas de manera irrepetible;

siempre hay peldaños flojos
que conducen al temor,
a la noche,
al desacierto
de seres imperfectos.


The stairs’

arranged repeatedly;

there are always loose steps
that lead to fear,
to the night,
to the mistakes
of imperfect beings.

Now available everywhere books are sold. Support your Washington Writers’ Publishing House and your local independent bookstore and purchase from our bookshop.org affiliate site here. More details about this new collection here.

“Aguas/Waters, which will be published on May 16… places Avero’s original poems next to Colson’s translations, which are stunning in their ability to bring the melody and magical realism of Avero’s Uruguayan Spanish into coherent English-language poems…” — Ella Feldman feature interview with Miguel Avero and Jona Colson in The Washington City Paper. Read the entire feature here.

©Miguel Avero 2024


Please join us at upcoming literary readings/receptions for AGUAS/WATERS. In July, Miguel Avero will be traveling to Washington, DC for readings at Politics & Prose (July 12 at the main store); The Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore (Happy Hour on Saturday, July 13), and at the Writer’s Center (on Sunday, July 14). Please join us! More information here.

SHOUT OUT TO THE WASHINGTON CITY PAPER for their feature on AGUAS/WATERS!! Read it all here! As Jona Colson notes at the end, while this is our first work in translation, it will not be our last:

“…Aguas/Waters will be the first-ever translation published by Washington Writers’ Publishing House, a local nonprofit small press that has been around since 1975. The book’s publication will kick off the publishing house’s commitment to releasing a work in translation every two years, at least. Colson and his team are especially eager to translate work originally written in languages that are spoken frequently around the DMV, including Spanish, Vietnamese, Amharic, West African French, and Haitian Creole. 

‘We are a wonderful capital for all these diverse voices,” Colson says. “So let’s hear them through translation.’”

SUBMIT to WWPH Writes. We are reading now for our FALL issues. We are eager for new voices! We are an inclusive, writer-driven community and want to see your poetry and prose (1,000 words or less). Free to submit. Send us your work via our Submittable link here. Insider news: we are planning our annual WWPH PRIDE contest with cash prizes and publication. This year, PRIDE will have a special call for allies of the LGBTQ+ community. Look for the WWPH PRIDE Poetry & Prose contest to open on May 31st. And for those asking about our annual TINY POEMS special summer issues–yes, they are returning in August! Insider news: we will be seeking tiny odes! Keep reading WWPH Writes for details.