THE PRISON POEMS is the first complete translation into English of Miguel Hernándezs Cancionero y romancero de ausencias, a classic of 20th century Spanish poetry, comparable in many respects to the work of Lorca and Pablo Neruda. The poems in this book were mostly written while he was in prison after the defeat of Republican Spain. Although he was totally involved in the Republican cause, its defeat did not lead to bitterness on his part. The poems are profoundly human, rising beyond political ideology constantly striving toward a redemptive vision of the human condition. The translator and editor is Michael Smith, a widely published poet and translator who in 2001 was the first Irish recipient of the European Academy Medal for distinguished work in the translation of poetry in Spanish, awarded by the European Academy of Poetry.