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December, 2009

Today in International Lit

Liu Xiaobo Sentenced, PEN Press Conference to Follow A message from The PEN American Center:   As you have heard, the Chinese government has sentenced our colleague Liu Xiaobo to 11 years in prison in China. This Thursday, we will hold an outdoor press event in midtown Manhattan to protest the verdict…...

Today in International Lit

Yesterday on the New Yorker's Book Bench, Elizabeth Clark Wessel served up a condensed version of the Quarterly Conversation's "Translate this Book", an incredible feature published earlier this month. As Wessel wrote, the list of recommended books from translators, writers, editors, and publishers…...

Madmen and Exiles

I was late to the Madmen, Exiles, and Savage Detectives: Latin American Poetry panel at the Philoctetes Center this Tuesday. I was late because I was puttering around the fourth floor poetry section at the Barnes and Noble in Union Square here in New York City. Among the shelves, out of place, was a…...

film iconBinhad Nurrohmat at Manggarai

This film was shot at Manggarai train station in central Jakarta. Ujang, the person who reads Binhad Nurrohmat’s poem (“The People on the KRL”) works on the train line which runs from northern Jakarta (Kota) to its final station in the south, Bogor. Ujan sells crackers on the train,…...

Dispatches: Fault Lines by Meena Alexander

I covered a few events at this year's PEN World Voices festival, and when I arrived at a storytelling event sponsored by The Moth I was lucky enough to be seated next to the poet and author Meena Alexander. She was among those blogging about the event for PEN itself. We talked about an extensive…...

European Lit Fest

Last month, a crumbling castle in the depths of the Styrian countryside became the unlikely meeting place for a motley group of writers, musicians and academics at an event organised by the European literature portal Readme.cc. The celebrated British poet Lavinia Greenlaw joined fellow writers from Germany,…...

Today in International Lit

NPR Acknowledges Foreign Fiction with Year-End List With the season of best-of lists upon us, it's refreshing to see NPR publish its first list of Best Foreign Fiction. Writer Jessa Crispin, founding editor of Bookslut, takes a cosmopolitan approach to the five novels, with the claim that "sampling…...

Literature as Social Experiment

A literary magazine in Romania published my nonfiction story about a group of American men who traveled to Ukraine in the hopes of finding a bride, or sex, or a combination of both. The tour was organized by a marriage agency in Arizona. Exactly one year ago, I embarked on this tour with them, disguised…...

Dispatches: Mission to Kala by Mongo Beti

I wrote about Mission to Kala by Mongo Beti for my book A Basket of Leaves. I've been surprised to see that that review has become one of the most visited pages on my site. The novel, translated from French by Peter Green and published by Heinemann in 1957, is not exactly well-known. But I can understand…...

film iconPoeboes Podcast: Michael Schmidt

In the latest installment of his Poeboes Podcast series for WWB, André Naffis speaks to poet, critic, novelist, and publisher Michael Schmidt. Michael Schmidt, O.B.E., FRSL, (1947 - ) poet, critic, novelist and publisher, is also a Professor of Poetry at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.…...

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