Translations by Margarita Millar
Canto de las Moscas (Song of the Flies), by the late Colombian poet María Mercedes Carranza, was published for the first time in 1997, following a decade marked by extremely high levels of violence in Colombia. At this point the country had already endured nearly half a century of armed struggle between government and rebel groups, and had more recently experienced the emergence of paramilitary forces and warring drug lords.
Carranza wrote these twenty-four poems, each bearing the name of a town or city that had been the site of large-scale violence, as a sort of chronicle and commemoration of the tragedies the people endured. The titles reflect a contradiction characteristic of Colombian reality: the beautifully-musical and whimsical place-names stand in cruel contrast to the events that marked them as massacre sites. Written in a form similar to Japanese haiku but not adhering to its strict line-and-syllable counts, the poems are short and spare.
This collection of poetry and prose tells the story of one man's liberation. Reading it, we join him as he spirals outward from the sound of the word, to the sound of the street, from a story of everyday life, to the inner magic of creative transcendence. His love of language and of people vibrates almost musically on each page. Stuart finds himself always out of sync. Offbeat. . . articulating hope in a place where sleeping on the streets is as common as being housed.
Perfect bound paperback $9.95
Writer-in-residence at the Oakland Museum of California and the Oakland Public Library, Ben Clarke, re-examines Dorothea Lange's photographs along with collaborating artists including: A.K. Black, Scott Braley, Lucha Corpi, Kitty Costello, Maketa Groves, Richard Oyama, Margot Pepper, Eric Robertson, Clifton Ross, Abena Songbird, and Rhett Stuart. Using poetry, personal essay, rap and contemporary photography the artists explore the intersection between Lange's documentary photography and current realities.
“Stories From El Barrio is a crystal clear reflection of the general facet of Piri Thomas’s literary power. It is tender, powerfully compassionate, humanely provocative.”
Claude Brown, author of Manchild in the Promised Land
Margot Pepper's memoir propels us through the blockade to post-cold war Cuba. It's a surreal world where high-ranking officials are required to pick up hitch-hikers. Root canals, cosmetic surgery and graduate school are free, but toilet paper is exorbitant. There's no income tax nor homelessness, yet no house-paint either. As the story unfolds, Margot pursues a passionate love affair with a penniless Mexican poet who shakes up her views about Cuba. With cinematic vividness, Through the Wall reveals the failures and successes of one of the few functioning alternatives to corporate-run government, and draws out lessons that will be embraced by all who believe another world is possible.
ISBN: 0-915117-17-7 $19.95
We are pleased to note that Translations from Silence by Clifton Ross has won the 20th annual PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles National Literary Award outstanding book of poetry published in 2009, awarded in 2010. Please join us at the PEN Oakland Awards ceremony and booksigning.
20th Annual 2010 Literary Awards
Oakland Public Library,
Rockridge Branch, 5366 College Ave.
Saturday, December 11, 2010, 2 PM – 5 PM
This anthology offers
poetry, short stories, performance pieces and autobiographical memoirs
that were developed in the Tenderloin Reflection and Education Center's
Women Writers Workshop. A dozen women from different cultures explore
the landscape of love, language, literacy and liberation. In forms as
diverse as the personalities of the participants. Edited and introduced
by workshop facilitator, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, the collection cuts to the
heart of women's concerns today.
Like Willian Saroyan, Roberston's humor, imagination and sensitivity awaken the senses to that which is worth celebrating in the human condition.
-- Margot Pepper
Eric Robertson writes with a plainspoken, direct, almost childlike innocence about a world of wonder and cynicism, hope and dread.
Eric Robertson writes with a southern drawl. Actually, he is from the South. Generally, I don't like anything from the South, but a guy that writes about getting baths from his grandmother... is warmly welcome in San Francisco.
-- Mark Schwartz
A bilingual edition of a book-length award-winning poem by the militant Roman Catholic priest who was Nicaragua's Sandinista Minister of culture for nearly 11 years. Through 52 poetic fragments, Ernesto Cardenal articulates a multiple vision, constantly constellated by myth that has always been one of the most effective mechanisms of his poetic creation.
ISBN 0-915117-38-X, 57 pages, perfect bound, two color uncoated cover, $11.95.
"Janice King's writing is musical, thought-provoking, subtly crafted and above all, honest. She speaks frankly of the `world that was too hard and incomprehensible.' Out of that struggle she has fashioned poetry which, by the subtlety of her wit and her craft, can both charm and amuse us."
Perfect bound paperback