Mark Eisner

About Mark Eisner

After graduating from the University of Michigan with High Honors in English/Creative Writing, Mark spent many years backpacking through Latin America, focused on experiential learning, especially in Chile, where he translated Neruda on a rustic ranch near the coast. He became friends with Chilean poets, scholars, and members of the Neruda Foundation. Upon his return, he was awarded a fellowship to earn a Masters in Latin American Studies from Stanford University. They subsequently named him a “Visiting Scholar” to continue his scholarly and creative work on Neruda.

On July 12, 2004, which would have been Neruda’s 100th birthday, Eisner was interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition, reading Neruda’s poetry to millions. That evening at an overflowing Theater Artaud in San Francisco, he helped host what the San Francisco Chronicle called “a perfect birthday party.” Among the elements was the screening of a cinematic exploration of the poet that Eisner produced. It won the Latin American Studies Association’s Award of Merit in Film. This original film serves as the seed for the more ambitious “Pablo Neruda: The People’s Poet.”

Mark is the editor and the principal translator of the critically acclaimed, bestselling The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (City Lights, 2004). Mark’s new biography on Neruda is forthcoming, ideally to be released in conjunction with the documentary. Writer Cristina Garcia has called it “definitive” and that “it reads like a novel.” He is writing the introduction and overseeing the translation of Neruda’s third book, venture of the infinite man, which City Lights will publish in 2017. He just finished co-editing a multilingual anthology of Latin American Poetry in Resistance, to be published by MadHat in 2017 as well.