Writing Exile {Tuesday, Sept 16}

WWB_9_2014_Resized_550_416Words without Borders, in collaboration with freeDimensional and Verso Books, present a reading from WWB’s September issue, dedicated to writing exile. The reading aims to draw attention to the voices of writers forced from their homes, and will feature contributors and other special guests reading selections from the issue. To accompany the reading, freeDimensional will present an exhibition of work from contemporary visual artists who use creativity to fight injustice, and have experienced persecution and forced displacement as a result of their artistic practice.

Featured readers will include Israel Centeno, Kayhan Irani, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, and Nathalie Handal. 

The event will also feature the work of visual artists  Arahmaiani, Zunar, Owen Maseko, Chaw Ei Thein, Issa Nyaphaga and others. (Please note that artwork by Kardash Onnig will not be featured.)

Free and open to the public. Seating is limited–please RSVP


Israel Centeno (Caracas, 1958) has published thirteen books, mostly novels, but also short fiction and poetry. His books include the novels Calletania (Monte Ávila, 1992; Periférica, 2010), Exilio en Bowery (Troya, 1998; Nuevo Espacio, New Jersey, 2000), El Complot (Alfadil, 2002), and Bajo las hojas (Alfaguara, 2010). He has published two books of short stories: El rabo del diablo y otros cuentos (Eclepsidra, 1993) and Criaturas de la noche (Alfaguara, 2000, 2011). He currently lives, with his wife and two daughters, in Pittsburgh, where until 2013 he has been Exiled Writer in Residence in City of Asylum. Sampsonia Way has published his novel The Conspiracy in an English translation by Guillermo Parra.

Nathalie Handal is the author of numerous books, most recently Poet in Andalucía; Love and Strange Horses, winner of the 2011 Gold Medal Independent Publisher Book Award; and the W.W. Norton landmark anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond. Her plays have been produced at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Bush Theatre and Westminster Abbey, London. Her poetry, stories and literary travel articles have appeared in Vanity FairGuernica Magazine, the Guardian, the Nation, and other publications. Handal is a Lannan Foundation Fellow, winner of the Alejo Zuloaga Order in Literature 2011, and Honored Finalist for the Gift of Freedom Award, among other honors.

Kayhan Irani was born in Bombay, India and was raised on the mean streets of Queens, NYC. She is an Emmy award winner, a Fulbright Fellow and a Theater of the Oppressed trainer.  Kayhan loves playing theater games.

Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo was born in Havana in 1971 and came to the US in March 2013. In Cuba he published the narratives Collage karaoke (2001), Empezar de cero  (2001), Ipatrias (2005) and Mi nombre es William Saroyan (2006). His novel, Boring Home, was censored by the Letras Cubanas publishing house in 2009 and then published by Garamond (Paris, 2009) and El Nacional (Caracas, 2013). In Cuba he was an independent journalist and photographer. He is the webmaster of the blogs Lunes de Postrevolución and Boring Home Utopics and the founding editor of the magazine Voces. He contributes columns to Diario de Cuba (Madrid, Spain), Sampsonia Way (Pittsburgh, Penn.), and El Nacional (Caracas). In 2014 OR Books published his anthology of new Cuban narrative writing, Cuba in Splinters.  He is a visiting fellow at Brown University for the current academic year. Restless Books will publish his book of photographs and essays, Abandoned Havana, this October.

Image: Alexey Titarenko, “Havana, Cuba,” 2003. Copyright Alexey Titarenko, courtesy of Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York, NY


Over-arming, under-trained cops … included


We allow this to continue!


You Are Triggering me! The Neo-Liberal Rhetoric of Harm, Danger and Trauma

your_trigger_warnings_are_triggering_me_by_meiharu-d5j2meyI found this article interesting… and love the visual:)  What do you think?  In a round about way, makes me think of T.J. Clark’s For a Left with no Future.

BDS Arts Coalition + The Death of Klinghoffer

bdsIt took me a minute to get back to this, but wanted to express my complete support for the new BDS Arts Coalition and its values.  I can speak for both freeDimensional and Lanchonete.org – that their values align with this coalition.  Why, you might ask:

Technion is a leading research center for the development of weaponry deployed by the Israeli government in its occupation of the Palestinian territories.

On another note, I appreciate the thoughtful approach to the canceling of live HD screenings of The Death of Klinghoffer by the Metropolitan Opera let by the National Coalition Against Censorship.

Maya Angelou, R.I.P.

maya-angelou-1024x576Statement from Dr. Maya Angelou’s Family:
Dr. Maya Angelou passed quietly in her home before 8:00 a.m. EST. Her family is extremely grateful that her ascension was not belabored by a loss of acuity or comprehension. She lived a life as a teacher, activist, artist and human being. She was a warrior for equality, tolerance and peace. The family is extremely appreciative of the time we had with her and we know that she is looking down upon us with love.
Guy B. Johnson

We could say to ourselves ‘Not one more!’

… but if we did, we’d have to acknowledge that the countless Columbines over the last 15 years are a part of the same national pathology of using force to take what we want, oft based on contrived rationale (e.g. oil in Iraq).  We must admit that pork barrel politics keeps blood on the hands of people in almost every state in the nation.  We would need to radically redefine the US as a peaceful power, which would require the dismantling of itself as a war machine from the inside out.  In the words of Harry Frankfurt, we’d have to ‘recognize [our national] bullshit’.  My heart goes out to the family of Christopher Martinez and so many others who needlessly die from politics as usual.  I agree with the author of the source article who wrote, “This truth may not triumph tomorrow, but the truth remains the truth. It would be nice if the President, who knows all this perfectly well, put aside his conciliatory manner and his search for consensus and just said it. Speak up, Mr. President! Speak plainly. Just say, Last night, I heard Chris’s dad. He’s right.