Author Archive

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.

David Lida’s ONE LIFE is the Injection of Humanity for Your Post-Election Blues

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Post-election, escapism is the only salve when no one can seem to look each other in the eye. David Lida’s newest novel, ONE LIFE, is exactly the dark-humored piece of literature everyone should be indulging in right now.

Reading OCOSINGO WAR DIARIES in the Wake of Colombia’s Failed Peace Deal

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I have a writer friend who is a punk, a recovering anarchist, a staunch Zapatista supporter. He plays bass in a punk band, writes poetry in the afternoons. He said to me one time: Why is it that American writers are the only artists in the

Daniel Saldaña París’ Among Strange Victims Is the Book You Need in the Post-Trump-Visit-to-Mexico Era

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Of all Mexican novels to read in this post-Trump-visit-to-Mexico era, Daniel Saldaña París’ Among Strange Victims reigns supreme. Not that it’s an overtly political novel, but it is one that explores the unbearable absurdities of living in this world.

Juan Villoro’s “The Guilty” Decenters What It Means To Be Mexican

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Last month I found myself in the gardening section of a German supermarket where, on sale, I came across Mexican-themed cacti. Tiny, impossibly hairy things with googly eyes and black moustaches and pastel colored sombreros made of clay. Typical German kitsch. “That looks like my uncle Mario,” I thought.

Reading Elena Poniatowska’s LA NOCHE DE TLATELOLCO Amid The Oaxaca Teacher Protests

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In the news this morning a picture flashed on my screen like a scene ripped directly from Elena Poneiatowska’s La Noche de Tlatelolco, a book that I teach from time to time about the ’68 student massacre in Mexico City.

DIY: A Tiny Interview With Ruben Quesada

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It's a little known secret that Ruben Quesada is quietly responsible for the promotion and community infrastructure that so many contemporary Latina/o writers enjoy today. As an editor, he plays a direct role in outlets such as Codex Journal, The Cossack Review, Cobalt Review, and Luna Luna Magazine.

The Argonauts Is A Direct Descendant Of Anzaldua’s Borderlands/La Frontera And No One Is Talking About It

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On my desk, Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts and Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderlands/La Frontera sit one atop the other. I didn’t plan it that way. It just sort of happened like that—I read one and then I read the other. It wasn’t until this week, when I was leafing through them