Image: Jordi Guillumet & Mònica Roselló, Ten Visions. Reading between Streets, photograph, 2004.
Our latest issue includes work from seven thrilling writers from Catalonia who explore both cosmopolitan Barcelona and the less familiar Catalonia of immigrants, of sleepy towns and painful betrayals, of haphazard alleyways and marginal lives, for a nuanced portrait of this complex region. Four of the seven writers are appearing in English translation for the first time.
In fiction, Pep Puig and Najat El Hachmi look at the hard realities imposed by family from two very different angles. Borja Bagunyà’s wild party brings Gatsby into the twenty-first century. Mercè Ibarz explores the mysterious origins of Alleyway S, a street whose myriad transformations mirror those of Barcelona, while Marta Rojals contributes an essay on the chronically underemployed. Finally, we present poetry from Francesc Garriga and this year’s Carles Riba Prize-winning poet Maria Cabrera. Guest editor Jordi Nopca’s introduction situates their work in the long, vibrant tradition of Catalan literature.
In our special feature, we bring you the work of three contemporary Russian-language poets in honor of National Poetry Month, with an introduction by guest editors Alex Cigale and Dana Golin.
We gratefully acknowledge the collaboration of the Institut Ramon Llull.
A Literature on the Rise
Catalan literature’s survival has been hard-won in a context that remains unfavorable economically, socially, and politically.
ways of knowing and other poems
i know the fear in your eyes at dawn. and the crackle of flames, the hidden creaking of the woods, the madness of the birds beating paths in the air.
You’ve Likely Never Been to a Party This Big
In a house like this you imagined all the stories had happy endings.
We Could Have Studied Less
We stalled up everything they told us . . . . We were the pride of our homes.
On the street, in Alleyway S, the olive tree still grows.
the voices of a body spent / venture new rhymes, / i can’t fathom what they mean to say
The Foreign Daughter
I’ve chosen a life where I should be illiterate like my mother.
That thing about the bikini would get the gang all riled up.
Reviewed by John W. W. Zeiser
Reviewed by Camila M. Santos