Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Book/ Mark Quarterly Review Seeks Reviews of Works in Translation

Calling all book reviewers: Book/ Mark Quarterly Review editor Mindy Kronenberg welcomes submissions of book reviews of works in translation. She writes, "Our main criteria rests upon the publisher being a small press (independent, university, 'alternative,' cooperative, even quality self-published books). We especially need work by reviewers who might specialize or have particular interest in these books." Interested? Contact Mindy Kronenberg via cyberpoet (at) optonline (dot) net

Monday, August 27, 2007

Save the Date--- New York City Sept 12th--- Mexico: A Traveler's Literary Companion

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 6 pm, reading and discussion of Mexico: A Traveler’s Literary Companion, an anthology of Mexican fiction and literary prose by some of Mexico’s best-known authors. With editor CM Mayo, writers Pedro Angel Palou and Monica Lavin, and translators Harry Morales and Daniel Shapiro. Sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York. Free Admission. King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at New York University, 53 Washington Square South (between Thompson and Sullivan Streets)Info: 212.998.3650.
(Mexico A Traveler's Literary Companion is part of the widely-lauded Traveler's Literary Companion series published by Whereabouts Press. Other titles include Greece, Italy, Israel, Chile, Cuba, Costa Rica, Japan, and many more.)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Calque's Issue #2--- and a call for submissions

Issue # 2 of Calque has just landed on my desk in Mexico City. It's a terrific new tri-annual journal of literary translation, a really magnificent effort by editors Steve Dolph and Brandon Holmquest. This issue features a cornucopia of outstanding writers and translators, among them, Luis Cernuda and Natasha Wimmer. Calque has a call for submissions out for the next issue, so translators, check this out.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Kids Are All Right in Waukegan

This year I returned to Waukegan to visit my family and attend a conference in another part of Illinois. A year ago, I wrote how strange I found it to see Waukegan, my home town, a community whose demographics had shifted so much that the grocery stores had signs in Spanish. A year later, this was still the case, and according to an article in the New York Times magazine yesterday, Waukegan is one of the Illinois communities feeling so under threat by immigration that new laws are being considered which are aimed against illegal immigration. I find that ordanances requiring English heavy-handed and misguided, but I can see how the non-Hispanic population in Waukegan are beginning to feel like strangers in their own city. Kind of like how the Potawatami felt when those French traders and American settlers from the east moved into Waukegan.
Still, I want to say that the kids are all right. I went to my old Junior High School, Jack Benny Junior High, as part of the effort to revive the Benny song which hadn't been sung there during the 80s and 90s and so was forgotten. My best friend teaches there, and got me involved. Jack Benny now has a 79 per cent Hispanic student population, and the class I visited had two white kids, two black kids and everyone else was Hispanic. But let me tell you, all the kids were speaking fluent Waukegani English, even if they chatted with each other in Spanish before the bell. They were great. They'd worked hard on the Benny song. I was proud of them.
Later that week, my sister and I drove four hours from Rock Island back to Waukegan, and the billboards were all in English until we got to the Waukegani city line. Then it was 100 per cent Spanish billboards. "Well," my sister said. "We're home!"

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Literal: the summer issue is out

News from LITERAL: Latin American Voices, vol. 9, Summer 2007

"All that is solid melts into air"--Karl Marx's famous dictum about modernity is perhaps truer today than ever before. This issue brings together three essays about the problems of culture, identity and history in the Spanish-speaking world that probe key aspects of the ever-fluctuating reality by which we are surrounded. Carlos Monsiváis presents in evocative fashion the transformation of Mexican culture--typically thought of as marked by its adherence to tradition--into a culture of migration, a transformation so deep that even those who remain behind have become migrants in a psychological or spiritual sense. Jay Mitsche Sepulveda explores the uncertain position of Hispanics and Latinos in the United States--Hisptinos he calls them--resisting assimilation but unable to overcome the splintering of their identity into separate national groups. Sebastiaan Faber examines the fierce, unresolved debates about the Spanish Civil War, showing how these disputes are symptoms of the shattering of traditional scholarly and journalistic notions of rigor and objectivity in an era of information overload. But the collapse of old certainties also offers new opportunities: for expanding the reach of tolerance, according to Monsiváis; for "fresh thinking," in the words of Sepulveda; and for a new, less rigid concept of historical truth, according to Faber.

Read more about Literal at