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Writing from Venezuela

March 2014

Image: Hermann Mejia, "Waiting Room," (detail) 2012, Acrylic on Canvas 36" x 36"

Image: Hermann Mejia, “Waiting Room,” (detail) 2012, Acrylic on Canvas 36″ x 36″

This month we present fiction and poetry from Venezuela. The current crisis has thrown this often-overlooked country into the spotlight; the writers included here put the protests in context and demonstrate the richness of Venezuelan literature. Alberto Barrera Tyszka brings the curtain down on an actor. Milagros Socorro shops for personalized customer service. Victoria De Stefano visits a literary hangout past its prime, while Eduardo Sánchez Rugeles eavesdrops on unhappy divorcés. Israel Centeno blends sex and aerial attack; Ana Teresa Torres ponders house and home. In poetry, Rafael Cadenas makes peace; Yolanda Pantin speaks of a private death; María Auxiliadora Álvarez considers suffering. We thank our guest editor, Ana Nuño, for bringing these new writers to us.  Elsewhere this month, we present poetry from Marie-Claire Bancquart, a tale of an absentee father from Ryuichiro Utsumi, and a peek at domestic intrigue from Espido Freire.

An Introduction to New Venezuelan Writing
By Ana Nuño
As I write, ten protesters have been killed and several hundred jailed.
A Mexican Story
By Alberto Barrera Tyszka
My friend Lencho Mejía has been murdered thirty-seven times in Los Angeles.
Translated from Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa
Ancient Plumbing
By Milagros Socorro
Her Lycra leggings looked as if they’d been galvanized onto her thighs by the sun’s blowtorch.
Translated from Spanish by Rosalind Harvey
Standing Stones
By María Auxiliadora Álvarez
its gulp may drink you down its foam overwhelm you
Translated from Spanish by Catherine Hammond
By Victoria de Stefano
Have any of you actually met this nun?
Translated from Spanish by Ruth Clarke & Jethro Soutar
Axel, Itinerant Dog
By Ana Teresa Torres
Dogs appear suddenly, and they disappear without a trace.
Translated from Spanish by Lucy Greaves
By Yolanda Pantin
But there are condemned men
Translated from Spanish by Katherine Silver
A Pornomilitary Romanza
By Israel Centeno
I can’t help showing off my orgasms.
Translated from Spanish by Valerie Miles
A Separation
By Eduardo Sánchez Rugeles
His last meeting with her had been a mounting exchange of curses.
Translated from Spanish by Ollie Brock
Making Peace
By Rafael Cadenas
Let’s come to an agreement, poem.
Translated from Spanish by Lucy Greaves