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March 2014

Writing from Venezuela

Image: Hermann Mejia, "Waiting Room," (detail) 2012, Acrylic on Canvas 36" x 36"

This month we present fiction and poetry from Venezuela. The current crisis has thrown this often-overlooked country into the spotlight; the writers included here put the protests in context and demonstrate the richness of Venezuelan literature. Alberto Barrera Tyszka brings the curtain down on an actor. Milagros Socorro shops for personalized customer service. Victoria De Stefano visits a literary hangout past its prime, while Eduardo Sánchez Rugeles eavesdrops on unhappy divorcés. Israel Centeno blends sex and aerial attack; Ana Teresa Torres ponders house and home. In poetry, Rafael Cadenas makes peace; Yolanda Pantin speaks of a private death; María Auxiliadora Álvarez considers suffering. We thank our guest editor, Ana Nuño, for bringing these new writers to us.  Elsewhere this month, we present the fifth installment of Sakumi Tayama's "Spirit Summoning," as well as poetry from Marie-Claire Bancquart, a tale of an absentee father from Ryuichiro Utsumi, and a peek at domestic intrigue from Espido Freire.

An Introduction to New Venezuelan Writing

As I write, ten protesters have been killed and several hundred jailed.

A Mexican Story

My friend Lencho Mejía has been murdered thirty-seven times in Los Angeles.


Ancient Plumbing

Her Lycra leggings looked as if they’d been galvanized onto her thighs by the sun’s blowtorch.


Standing Stones

its gulp may drink you down its foam overwhelm you



Have any of you actually met this nun?


Axel, Itinerant Dog

Dogs appear suddenly, and they disappear without a trace.



But there are condemned men


A Pornomilitary Romanza

I can’t help showing off my orgasms.

A Separation

His last meeting with her had been a mounting exchange of curses.


Making Peace

Let’s come to an agreement, poem.



Book Reviews

Mikhail Shishkin’s “The Light and the Dark”

Reviewed by Carla Baricz

Shiskin pushes us to the realization that we are part of the book that we are reading, and that the book we are reading is part of us.

Rodolfo Walsh’s “Operation Massacre”

Reviewed by Sara Rafsky

Walsh was sitting in a café when a man approached him and said cryptically: “One of the executed men is alive.”

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