Forklift, Ohio


Cover of Wolf's Milk translated by Chad Sweeney

Wolf's Milk: The Lost Notebooks of Juan Sweeney

by Juan Sweeney de las Minas de Cobre

translated by Chad Sweeney

138 pages, soft cover, perfect-bound, 6" x 9"  


From a review by Tyler Mills from October 2013 at Jacket2

"Wolf’s Milk presents us with a beautiful paradox. Through the art of translation, we receive an art of persona. Even so, these poems delightfully comment on and obscure the possibility of even searching for the essence of 'Juan Sweeney': as original ancestor, or, author."

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From a Review by Jeff Alessandrelli from Fall 2012 issue of RAIN TAXI Review of Books 

"Who is Juan Sweeney, aka Juan Sweeney de las Minas de Cobre? He is a man that, according to translator (and familial descendant) Chad Sweeney's introductory note "preferred riding on the backs of trains to being seated inside . . . loved cheese and whiskey and has often been compared to the troubadour poet, Cavalcanti, for his lifestyle of travel and intrigues with women of the court. He inspired the characterization of Cervantes' journeyman, Don Quixote, and paradoxically of Byron's archetypical hero." As translated by Chad Sweeney, an accomplished poet in his own right, Juan's work is ethereal, hypnotic, often surreal..."

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Juan Sweeney de las Minas de Cobre is undoubtedly the most mysterious and influential Spanish/Irish poet to have ever lived. His life and poems are commonly credited as the seeds for Cervantes' Don Quixote as well as Lord Byron's eponymous hero. Sweeney described himself as "what night coughed up on its shore," and indeed it proves difficult to locate his year and place of birth. A direct descendent of the pagan king Sweeney the Mad and of the mystical wolf herder of Mt. Ararat, Sweeney's childhood touched down in much of Ireland, Spain, Byzantium, Bolivia and Oklahoma. Though he loved cheese and whiskey, he could go weeks without food or sleep with a spare set of clothes packed inside his guitar. Famously loyal, Juan Sweeney of the Copper Mines regularly visited all seventeen of his grandmothers, and you should too.



Chad Sweeney is the author of Parable of Hide and Seek (Alice James), Arranging the Blaze (Anhinga), and An Architecture (BlazeVOX) and co-translator of the Selected Poems of contemporary Iranian poet H.E. Sayeh (White Pine). Sweeney's poems have been included in Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize Anthology and The Writer's Almanac. He teaches in the MFA program at California State University, San Bernardino and lives in Redlands with his wife, poet Jennifer K. Sweeney, and their son Liam.