Wisdom from Writers: Jessica Sequeira

I think of the Sephardic Jewish tradition where a texture of fabric, bit of gold filigree, painted twig, strike of the tambourine, song lyric or dance step is never alone, but connected to the whole. The luminous glow in each individual element has to do with its sense of belonging. Idiosyncrasy finds its dignity and respect through recognition in a lifeworld of people and nature.

I recently spoke with writer and translator Jessica Sequeira about her electric and incandescent collection of linked flash narratives,  A Luminous History of the Palm, Sephardic Jewish traditions, palm genuses, the flexibility of the human essence, and more.You can read the full interview here at Tiny Molecules.

A point of view can change so much based on where one is, the language one is speaking, the culture, and the resources that are available. To translate between realities perhaps gives a sense of personality not as essence, but as something more akin to Tarot cards, where the image matters less than the way it’s interpreted and how it finds itself in the larger system of relations.

Find out more about Jessica Sequeira  on www.jessicasequeira.com. Jessica’s book A Luminous History of the Palm (April 2020) is available from Sublunary Editions. 

Wisdom from Writers: Bruna Dantas Lobato

Translation felt like a way to be my full self again, to make my Brazilian self and my American self be in dialogue with each other.

I recently spoke with writer and translator Bruna Dantas Lobato about her acclaimed translation of Caio Fernando Abreu’s story collection, Moldy Strawberries, untranslatable moments in texts, joy and curiosity as an act of genuine artful engagement, Brazilian writers you should know about, and more.You can read the full interview here at Tiny Molecules.

I’m drawn to books that are formally innovative and show a side of Brazil we don’t see often in English, especially if there’s room for me to play with the style and be surprised and challenged by it.

Find out more about Bruna Dantas Lobato on https://www.brunadantaslobato.com/. Bruna’s translation of Moldy Strawberries (June 2022) is available from Archipelago Books.

 

 

Wisdom from Writers: Tucker Leighty-Phillips

I am always thinking about–how do we defamiliarize our world? How do we return a childlike wonder to everything around us? How do we regain an innocence, excitement, and enthusiasm that feels dragged out of us through the cynicism of adulthood?

I recently spoke with author Tucker Leighty-Phillips about his debut story collection, Maybe This Is What I Deserve, children’s games, rural life, poverty, Runescape, and more.You can read the full interview here at Tiny Molecules.

Intuition in storytelling is a strange thing. Sometimes it means making up words that “sound right.” Sometimes it means cutting out entire sections of prose and letting white space do the talking.

Find out more about Tucker Leighty-Phillips on tuckerlp.net. Tucker’s book Maybe This Is What I Deserve (June 2023) is forthcoming from Split/Lip Press.

 

 

International Translation Day!

Hello friends, and a very happy International Translation Day to you!

 

On this day (but really every day), we pause and celebrate what it means to be able to read a book or other text in translation or watch a film/show with subtitles or listen to a speaker with the assistance of an interpreter; how narrow our perspectives and understanding of the world would be without the gift of translators to somehow both expand and condense our world at once. I fear that translators don’t get nearly the amount of credit they deserve; yet their dedicated magicking brings brilliance originating from languages spoken near and far right there, into our homes, our book stacks, our ears, our brains. It is a gift. It is a gift!!

 

I believe translated texts and films are the closest thing we have to transportation portals, hurling us across time and space to discover linguistic, social, and cultural patterns from around the globe. The more I think about the wonder of this, the more awe I feel towards the act of translation itself.

 

So, thank you to all of the translators out there! Your work and passion and dedication to your craft, and the breadth of global human thought and innovation that you have made available to us, has made a great deal of difference in our lives and our world!
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Resources:
Sign up for a free weekly newsletter, “We Are All Translators”, brought to you by author and translator Jenny Bhatt
-Check out the latest translation news on World Literature Today and Words Without Borders

 

Where to Find Published Books of Translations (a few of my favorite presses) :

Anonymous Grocer 17/30: [Apart falling still is body]

Hello friend! 
 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
 
This Sunday, we celebrate Day 17 with the ever wise and ethereal Ocean Vuong, whose latest poetry collection, Time is a Mother, was recently released on April 5th. 
Discover more about this poet here.  
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,
Cam

Anonymous Grocer 16/30: [Things of family, the in place]

Hello friend! 
 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
 
Today’s episode gives space to the soul and spirit of Mary Oliver‘s “Wild Geese,” a poem that is sage, balm, bandage, courage, hug, friend — all at once. If there’s a poem out there that could save lives, this one is probably it. 
 
Discover more about this poet here.
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,
Cam

Anonymous Grocer 15/30: [Looked I. Stopped I.]

Hello friend! 
 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
 
Can you believe it? We’re already halfway through Poetry Month! I hope you’re enjoying our time together! Today, I present you with the research scientist-poet, Angelo Mao, whose poetry dissects the ethics of mouse labs, mythologizes the human/mouse divide, and interrogates these funded relationships of hierarchy, violence, guilt, and embodied metaphors.
 
Discover more about this poet here.  
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,
Cam

Anonymous Grocer 14/30: [treees / manie so gathred]

Hello friend! 
 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
 
Today’s poem is an excerpt from Jos Charles’ book of poetic reckoning, feeldfeeld is modern poetry unlike anything I’ve read recently, as much about the sound of words as it is about spelling and the mechanics of written language, all those fraught and confounding glyphs that make up our lives and our perceptions. feeld is queer and linguistic and investigative and difficult in ways that invoke self-inquiries of readers themselves. What does it mean to hold a word in a palm or the mouth? To slash a line? How does it feel to manipulate a strand of words and create a language that is yours, yours for a time?
 
Discover more about this poet here
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,
Cam

Anonymous Grocer 13/30: [Them & They as to referred be]

Hello friend! 
 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
 
Today, lucky number 13, we celebrate with a poem from the inimitable Terrance Hayes‘ series of “American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin.”
 
Discover more about this poet here.
Need a quick cheat sheet on the ingredients of a sonnet? I’ve got you! 
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,
Cam

Anonymous Grocer 12/30: [It hear—you can closer come!]

Hello friend! 
 
Welcome back to Anonymous Grocer, a 30-day audio adventure in backwards poetry. Each day: a new poem, a new collection of words in unfamiliar and spiraling patterns, a new audio message to ease you into your day. 
 
This week (this life?), I’ve been having a love affair with trees. I am so grateful for authors like Sumana Roy and Richard Powers and Robin Wall Kimmerer, who alchemize trees into unforgettable, breathful characters with personalities and narratives and lineages all their own. These trees they profile are not anthropomorphized cartoons, but beings wholly greening unto themselves. These are almighty beings with majestic and complex communication systems, with that highly enviable process of photosynthesis. Beings that seem to embody — epitomize — what it means to live a good, long life. 
 
So, in honor of trees and the trees we shall one day become, I bring you Octavio Paz‘s “A Tree Within.”  
 
Discover more about this poet here
Do you have requests for poems or poets you’d like to see featured in future Anonymous Grocer episodes? I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and love,
Cam