Author Archive

Why Culture Cops Are Bad for Writers of Color

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The biggest fear of most professional writers I know is drawing the ire of the internet. This is especially true among writers of color I know. Our literary communities are no exception to the dark allures of destructive, righteous outrage.

You Can’t Trust Anybody in Elvira Navarro’s A Working Woman (And What That Says About Us)

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Elvira Navarro’s A Working Woman, translated by Christina MacSweeney, interrogates the psyche of characters mired by the Spanish economic crisis and the realities and lies they build around themselves in search of catharsis.

Examining Our American Disillusion With Alberto Fuguet

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I’ve been thinking too much about reality entertainment lately. It was inevitable that I would find myself reading Alberto Fuguet’s The Movies of My Life this summer, and I’ve been wondering: how does a country cope with disillusion? Or rather, how does a person deal with its dissolution?

Why Latinx Writers Should Decenter the Narratives That Have Been Weaponized Against Us

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Just last week, I received maybe the first piece of editorial advice that I felt compelled to flat out reject: that Latinx writers have a moral obligation to not write stories in which Latinx characters are portrayed in the context of the drug war or violence or anything else

Editorial Argonáutica: A Tiny Interview With Efrén Ordóñez

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Editorial Argonáutica is the brainchild of Efrén Ordóñez and Marco Alcalá, both accomplished writers and translators in their own right who decided in 2015 that the world needed a publishing house that would be global in its outlook and that would celebrate the translation and promotion of writers whose

Beyond War: Jorge Argueta’s Poetic Memoir and Moving Beyond Displacement

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As with other non-fictional accounts and ruminations on the Salvadoran civil war, Argueta is not afraid to look the violence and trauma of the war in the eye with Flesh Wounds: A Poetic Memoir.

The New Ethics for Writers of Color in A Post-Truth Era

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My creative writing students want to talk about the business of literature. They want to talk cover letters, agents, MFA programs, fellowships.

Why the MFA System Should Be Used to Subvert Cuts to the NEA

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The scariest part of the proposed cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities is that people seem to have accepted them already.

Life Is Surreal Now: Get Used To It With César Aira’s THE MUSICAL BRAIN

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I’m training early for the very real bizarro world of 2017 by reading César Aira. The Argentinian writer is one of the more prolific contemporary writers in contemporary Latin American letters with over eighty titles to his name.

“Post-Truth” is the Anti-Poetry of Our Time: Why I’m Reading Carmen Tafolla ahead of 2017

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The humanity of Carmen Tafolla’s poetry collection, Salsa and Sonnets (Wings Press) brings me back to the year I was living in Mexico City when in 2014, forty-three Ayotzinapa students were disappeared and presumably killed.