Publication Date:  June 10, 2016
Paperback, 48 pages
ISBN:  978-1-937968-25-0
Booksellers:  Available from
Small Press Distribution
Jeremy Dae Paden
was born in Milan,
Italy and raised in
Central America and
the Caribbean. He
received his PhD in
Latin American
literature at Emory
University and is
an Associate Professor
of Spanish at
University and also on
faculty in Spalding’s
low-residency MFA,
For sixty-nine days in 2010 the world held its collective breath while thirty-three
men were trapped deep in a copper mine in Chile.  The story of their survival and
rescue is by now well-known, but through the poetry and imagination of Jeremy
Paden the intimate humanity of this modern-day resurrection is rendered with
exquisite feeling for the miners below and their loved ones above.  Many of the
individual miners appear here in poems inspired by their specific stories.

But as suggested by the title—a term coined by Pliny to describe Roman hydraulic
gold mining and its effect on the land—this is also a meditation on our relationship to
our planet.  

    How dangerous
    we have made this earth.

The requirements of modern civilization make demands on our fragile environment
that place us in individual and collective peril, and we must take to heart the lessons
of  "Los 33" even as they fade into the background of memory,

    Hollywood in post-production
    the world back about its business....

Still, there is another resurrection miracle accounted here, in the poem "desierto
florido" that tells of the Atacama Desert in Chile, the driest in the world, which
nevertheless bursts into brilliant bloom in those rare years when the rains come.  

Hope—and life—endure, the poet assures us.

Praise for Jeremy Paden's ruina montium:

ruina montium is a collection that does the most important thing poems can do:
honor. Based on the 2010 Copiapó mining accident, these lyrically precise and
beautifully attentive poems give voice to the miners who were trapped that day and
practice the ancient and good magic of survival. Both tender and clear-eyed, these
poems are strong enough to lift each one of us from the darkness.

                                                                           Ada Limón

“Los 33,” the miners trapped in the 2010 Copiapó mine disaster in Chile, must have
resorted to biblical allegory in an effort to comprehend their physical predicament.  
Eventually, the sixty-nine days underground simply became metaphysical—
Jonah, Daniel, Lazarus, Christ—these analogies are just.  The language of
deliverance and the aspect of resurrection rightly rise in these richly contemplative
poems.  Eerily, these poems collectively anticipate being “born again,” but not yet.  
The poems in this collection make the waiting in the dark, the absolute uncertainty,
and the spiritual anguish wrenching.  And yet, beauty is not absent from this realm.  
The day thirty-three men walked out of the earth alive, as Paden’s sure hand implies,
was a day of miracles.

                                                                           Maurice Manning

Every life cut short deserves a memorial. These monuments, these heavy and
sharp-edged poems that transport the reader to cavernous depths with the intention
of excavating our capacity to remember, succeed. The poet submerges us deeper
than the seven-hundred meter search for copper with these Chileans and skillfully
deposits us back on the surface, all the richer, our hearts full of precious metals.

                                                                           Frank X Walker
Cover art by Arwen Donhue; book design by Jonathan Greene
where he teaches literary translation. He is the author of two chapbooks: Broken
(Accents Press, 2013) and Delicate Matters (Winged City Press, 2016). The
latter collection is comprised of translations. His poems and translations have
appeared in such journals as
Adirondack Review, Asymptote Journal, Beloit Poetry
, California Quarterly, Cortland Review, Drunken Boat, Hampden-Sydney
, Louisville Review, Rattle, and Words without Borders, to name a few. He is
a member of the Affrilachian Poets and resides in Lexington, Kentucky.