The Road to Isla Negra

Click to see more photos of the chapbook on Flickr

by William O’Daly
with artwork by Galen Garwood

  • ISBN 978-1-61019-224-8
  • $8.00 US paperback
  • $3.99 US ebook

William O’Daly’s poetic response to four decades spent translating Pablo Neruda’s poetry takes readers on a pilgrimage to Don Pablo’s home by the sea. Time breaks free from linear constraints amidst O’Daly’s lines that intertwine spiritual and physical planes. Paired with Galen Garwood’s stunning photographs, the tension between what was, what is, and what could be makes this collaboration between two masters a must-read.


WILLIAM O’DALY is a poet, translator, fiction writer, and editor. His translations include eight books of the poetry of Chilean Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda — Still Another Day, The Separate Rose, Winter Garden, The Sea and the Bells, The Yellow Heart, The Book of Questions, The Hands of Day, and World’s End — all published with Copper Canyon Press. A chapbook of his own poems, The Whale in the Web, was also published by Copper Canyon Press. O’Daly was a finalist for the 2006 Quill Award in Poetry and was profiled on NBC’s The Today Show. A National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, his poems, translations, essays, and reviews have appeared widely in journals and anthologies. With co-author Han-ping Chin, O’Daly recently completed a historical novel, This Earthly Life, which was awarded as a Finalist in Narrative’s 2009 Fall Story Contest. He has received national and regional honors for literary editing and instructional design. To learn more, please visit him at

GALEN GARWOOD is an artist, photographer, essayist, poet, publisher, and graphic designer from St. Simons Island, Georgia. His multi-media piece Adagio won a Bronze Award at the International Multi-media Film Festival in Philadelphia, 1995, and in 1996 was included in the 1996 Venice Biennale’s Xenograhia Nomadic Wall and again at Art Affair in New York. His film Cadmium Red Light received First Place for Narrative/Documentary at the Port Townsend International Film Festival in 2007 and a First Place Award for Short Documentary for Ed and Ed at the DeReel Film Festival in Australia in 2008, based on the American painter and poet Ed Cain. He has lived in Thailand since 2002 making a documentary on the plight of the Asian elephant. His photographs in this chapbook come from a series-inprogress: The Dream Sea. To learn more, please visit him at


“William O’Daly has been a patient and dedicated poet-translator for forty years. In these poems paying homage to
Pablo Neruda, sweetness meets strength as his tender and muscular music leads us on. I welcome these poems with unfettered enthusiasm and gratitude.”
Sam Hamill, author of Habitation: Collected Poems (Lost Horse Press, 2014) and Founding Editor
of Copper Canyon Press

“William O’Daly, master translator of Neruda’s later work, joins Don Pablo here on The Road to Isla Negra, with dazzling songs of friendship, sadness, and the sea. Neruda Presente!
Dennis Maloney, author of Listening to Tao Yuan Ming (Glass Lyre Press, 2015)

“Part homage, part elegy, part visitation, William O’Daly’s The Road to Isla Negra brings Neruda into our lives — fresh, transparent, and searching for the Chile he left and loved and returned to over and over, until finally, it becomes a song, a chant that O’Daly sings until we hear him, again, on the first morning on that beach with Matilde. Galen Garwood’s accompanying photographs make me think of the beautiful book honoring Robinson Jeffers, Jeffers Country — photographs with Jeffers’ poems. This is as close as you will get to finding Neruda on the page — now that Neruda has surrendered his poems to Chile, and to his many readers beyond its borders. O’Daly has devoted a lifetime to Neruda, as translator, as champion, and now, as the fine poet he is.”
Shaun T. Griffin, author of Woodsmoke, Wind, and the Peregrine (University of Nevada Press, 2008)

“…Bill should be known for his own poetry, which is exquisite. His latest book, The Road to Isla Negra, contains some of his best work…”
John Bowman, “Reader Input: Carrying on Poetic History in Auburn” in the Auburn Journal


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