Corsino Fortes’ collection Pão & Fonema [Bread & Phoneme] appeared in 1974, the year that Portugal’s dictator Antonío Salazar was overthrown, which triggered the decolonization of the Cape Verde Islands in 1975. Though not overtly political, the images in these poems reverberate with approaching renewal – drums surround the island, dead caravels await revival, children scatter seeds near the quiet strings of instruments. Growing out of a Modernist tradition yet composing with a distinctly singular vision, Fortes excavates the gut, heart, and mind, giving us vivid and often hallucinatory glimpses of the land, sea, and people of Cape Verde. His poems become earth- and word-scapes rooted in the land and the body. This first substantial English-language collection, selected and evocatively interpreted by Sean O’Brien and Daniel Hahn, pulls from Fortes’ entire body of work.