This essay addresses Pablo Neruda and Nancy Cunard’s Spanish Civil War poetry anthology Los poetas del mundo defienden al pueblo espanol alongside Cunard’s earlier anthology, her massive and eclectic Negro: Anthology (1934). I argue that when read alongside Cunard’s later, lesser-known collaboration with Neruda, Negro can be seen as one part of Cunard’s larger trajectory as an editor of coalitional anthologies. Los poetas, an understudied collection of modernist poetry deserving of recovery in its own right, also allows greater perspective of Cunard’s earlier anthology. Reading Negro alongside Los poetas makes clear that the stakes of the project, along with the current academic discourse surrounding Cunard, are rooted in questions of the possibility of coalition. Ultimately, I argue that these anthologies uniquely model within their aesthetic form the organization of the political coalitions they seek to produce. They are coalitional, with the goal of bringing disparate elements into productive harmony, in both aesthetics and praxis. I locate what I call coalitional aesthetics within each volume, simultaneously attesting to the disparity of its constituent parts and to their unity. Coalitional aesthetics do not smooth over incongruities between individual parts but rather emphasize them, insisting on their singularity even within the whole they comprise.

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