August 9, 2020: Dear friends of Sant Jordi NYC,
I have been a bit out of touch for a couple of weeks, but I must write with unbounded enthusiasm to let you know about the two latest episodes of Sant Jordi NYC we have rolled out on Sunday, August 9, and Sunday, August 16.
On the 9th, delightful serendipity brought together a selection from the Festival Neue Literatur with Benjamin Quaderer of Liechtenstein. His novel, THE ALPS ARE FOREVER is a “whirlwind tour of the shady side of life in Liechtenstein” and along a path that leads through Barcelona, Argentina, Germany, and parts beyond, it “offers great insight into the experience of living in a tiny nation, as well as highlighting Liechtenstein’s controversial tax laws and its equivalent of the Panama Papers scandal.” A book for the moment. As always (but never sufficiently), we would like to thank the Festival Neue Literatur and co-curators Alta L. Price and Tess Lewis for sharing with Sant Jordi NYC the fantastic panoply of German-language writers the Festival brings together each year.
TRACING THE UNSPOKEN, by Milan Šelj is the English-language debut of an award-winning Slovenian poet and translator, which speak (or write) the name of gay desire, in these compact, precise poems in prose. This beautiful little gem of a book is the perfect container for "Instants of great sexual and emotional tension, caught in needle-sharp language of utter clarity and purity,” as Christopher Whyte says. With Lawrence Schimel, the publisher, and a great translator and writer in his own right.
And, finally, the luminous and illuminating Charlotte Mandel reads from THE MAGNETIC FIELDS, her translation of André Breton and Philippe Soupault’s response to the devastation of World War I. The “first sustained exercise in automatic writing,” it eschews the individual voice and the “well-written” to release the power of the word and blow up “the prevailing morality, the source of all our trials and tribulations.” Don’t know about you, but it makes me nostalgic for the days when we believed manifestoes and experiments in writing would change the world. Listen in.
Links below, and more on August 16 in a separate post.
The Alps Are Forever: with author Benjamin Quaderer and translator Elisabeth Lauffer, Curated by Alta L. Price - Festival Neue Literatur
Tracing the Unspoken (Slediti neizgovorjenemu): Author Milan Šelj introduced by publisher Lawrence Schimel
The Magnetic Fields: Charlotte Mandell reads André Breton and Philippe Soupault
July 30, 2020
FRIENDS OF SANT JORDI NYC:
It is my immense pleasure to announce this week’s episode from Sant Jordi NYC. “Stella, Cecilia, Violeta—Forgotten Voices in Chilean Poetry,” is a brilliant, delightful, and poignant introduction to three kickass women from the mid-century Chile by two kickass women from present-day Chile: Rebecca Levi and Camila Vaccaro. Details below. How could you resist?
A bilingual reading and performance of the work of three 20th century Chilean artists—two poets and a musician—with brief commentary to contextualize the works and weave a wider narrative about women artists in Chile.
In 1967, singer-songwriter and Chilean folk music giant Violeta Parra committed suicide, in poverty and relative obscurity. Her death, along with the suffering and genius of her life, have become emblematic of what it means to be a woman and an artist in Chile. Her brother’s name rises to the lips of anyone speaking of Chilean poetry—along with Neruda and Huidobro—but what of Nicanor Parra’s female contemporaries?
Stella Díaz Varín (1926-2006) was a survivor of sexual violence, political torture, and a society that called her La Colorina and knew her for her love affairs. Despite a local cult following, her poems are virtually unknown outside of Chile, and she died a victim of public healthcare, in a hospital hallway. In Díaz Varín’s poems, woman speaks— as god, as wife, as mother, as poet, slicing society into fine, jagged pieces. The reader is her confessor, her disappointing lover, her jailer, and her child. She asks, flatly, insistently, what choice is hers.
Cecilia Casanova (1926-2014) was a painter as well as a poet, a Santiago native less well-known than Díaz Varín, who would receive her students at home, to spend afternoons writing and rewriting together. Jorge Teillier described her poems as “the purity of a cool glass of water”— glimpses of life, refracted light, birds in the window, but they cut deep into human experience. Before Casanova’s death, she was evicted from her apartment, and her Collected Work is currently out of print.
The only known English translations of these two poets are by Rebecca Levi. Six of the translated poems have been published in Columbia Journal, InTranslation for Brooklyn Rail, and Your Impossible Voice. Levi’s translation of Díaz Varín won her the Robert Fitzgerald Prize in Literary Translation at Boston University.
July 25, 2020: Dear friends of Sant Jordi NYC,
On July 23rd, people in Catalonia were finally able to celebrate the true Sant Jordi Book Fair, postponed by the pandemic. Observing social distancing, tables were set up, books were signed at bookstores, and roses were sold to people correctly wearing masks. An unusual, but still festive, summertime Sant Jordi—take that, coronavirus! Congratulations to all!
Last Sunday, Sant Jordi NYC began publishing individual segments from our April festival, newly produced and packaged by our web artists, Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger. We began with a lovely conversation between Najat El Hachmi and her translator, Peter Bush, about Najat’s new book, The Foreign Daughter, and a solo discussion of crime novels by Teresa Solana, two previously unseen segments we wanted to share with you.
Today, Sunday, July 26th, Sant Jordi NYC will relaunch the festival proper, in the order in which events took place from April 23-26th. As you will see, we begin with a greeting from Mr. Isidre Sala, the Delegate of the Catalan Government in the United States.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Delegation, and that includes both Isidre Sala and Pilar Pérez Ordóñez, the Director of the New York Office of the Delegation. The delegation had issued a call for projects, and the project originally developed by the Farragut Fund—a Sant Jordi based on lit crawls in four New York neighborhoods—was awarded the contract.
We were fully immersed in carrying out this project when the coronavirus overtook New York. Within a week, Laia and Isabelle and I had decided to convert Sant Jordi into an online festival. In the ensuing month, and together with many unexpected partners, we found solutions for every challenge and duck tape for every leak.
It is rare to find public servants with the elasticity and imagination we found in Isidre Sala and Pilar Pérez Ordoño, the heads of the Delegation of Catalonia to the U.S. They put their faith in Sant Jordi NYC, they trusted us, and they accompanied us on this little online experiment. And, thanks to their continued support, Sant Jordi NYC is now available in individual segments which we will be publishing every Sunday until next year’s Sant Jordi.
First up: a series of conversations produced by PEN Català, another decisive ally in our decision to go online, dedicated to four pillars of Catalan literature: Josep Pla, presented by Peter Bush; Mercè Rodoreda, presented by Marta Pessarrodona; J. V. Foix, presented by Melcion Mateu; and Víctor Catalá (pseudonym of Caterina Albert), presented by Najat El Hachmi. In truth, these are eight pillars of Catalan literature, each a treasure in his or her own right. Peter Bush, the great translator, Marta Pessarrodona and Melcion Mateu, award-winning poets; Najat El Hachmi, one of the most lauded contemporary novelists.
And then, a series of truly delightful surprises: Singer and Actor John Darnielle (of the band The Mountain Goats) reads from Mercè Rodoreda’s A Broken Mirror. And goats must be today’s theme, because next up is “Poetry & Goats” in which Lisa Lopez Smith reads poems by Manuel Bandeira and Micaela Sanchez Miranda in Portuguese, Spanish, along with her own translations, surrounded by her goats. From Mexico. Then Jaume Pons Alorda regales us with the first versos of “A Song of Myself”—“Canto a jo mateix”—his new Catalan translation of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (familiar enough to enjoy the music in new words). And, finally, Michael Atwood Mason’s masterful deep reading of Toni Sala’s The Boys, in Mara Faye Lethem’s translation.
One of the beauties of Sant Jordi is that it is a Catalan celebration of international books and literature: a Catalan festival, but not only. Over the coming weeks, you will hear readings in and translations from French, German, Icelandic, Spanish, Slovenian, Tamil, Uyghur and a score of other languages. All under the invocation of Sant Jordi. And the dragon.
July 15, 2020: To friends and fans of the Sant Jordi NYC Book Festival:
I am writing, three months hence, to bring you news of the next stage of the Sant Jordi NYC Book Festival.
The first good news is that our web artists, Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger, have completed post-production on the Sant Jordi events. Each of the video sessions from every author, language, and country is now available as an individual segment on the santjordinyc.org website, in videos, and on our YouTube channel. In addition, they will pop up when people search the web by author name or book title or other key word. And if you’d like to see or share a quick recap of the four days of the festival, a trailer with highlights is also posted.
On Sunday, July 19th, at 12 p.m., we will begin rolling out the events, more or less in the order in which they appeared, and there will be a weekly broadcast at the same time. We have provided a calendar (see below) you may consult to see when a particular session will be scheduled. We will post them weekly on social media, and if you have favorites, we’d love it if you did, too. We can help keep our favorite authors in the public eye.
The festival organizers—Mary Ann Newman, Laia Cabrera, Isabelle Duverger, and Ignacio García-Bustelo—and our many partners, listed here, are truly gratified by your response to the Sant Jordi NYC festival, to international literature in translation, and to an experiment in confronting the conditions created by the pandemic. We hope you will enjoy revisiting the festival in easy-to-manage doses, and perhaps discover new authors in this new format. Please share far and wide! And stay in touch with us here. We would love to hear from you!
CALENDAR SANT JORDI NYC 2020 - VIDEOS
July 19, 2020
> Najat El Hachmi on Writing: A Mother’s Emigration with author Najat El Hachmi and translator Peter Bush
> From Jack the Ripper to Barcelona Shadows: A discussion of the crime genre with author Teresa Solana
July 26, 2020
> Introduction to Sant Jordi NYC 2020 By Isidre Sala Queralt, Head of the Delegation of the Government of Catalonia to the USA and Canada
> PEN Català Celebrates Sant Jordi NYC: Peter Bush on Josep Pla
> PEN Català Celebrates Sant Jordi NYC: Marta Pessarrodona on Mercè Rodoreda
> PEN Català Celebrates Sant Jordi NYC: Melcion Mateu on J.V. Foix
> PEN Català Celebrates Sant Jordi NYC: Najat el Hachmi on Víctor Català
> A Broken Mirror: John Darnielle reads Mercè Rodoreda
> Poetry & Goats: Lisa Lopez Smith reads Manuel Bandeira and Micaela Sanchez Miranda in Portuguese, Spanish, and her own translations
> Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman Translated into Catalan and read by Jaume Pons Alorda
> The Boys by Toni Sala, translated by Mara Faye Lethem: A reading and commentary by Michael Atwood Mason
August 2, 2020
> “Stella, Cecilia, Violeta - Forgotten Voices in Chilean Poetry” (Stella Díaz Varín, Cecilia Casanova, Violeta Parra): Reading and performance by Rebecca Levi and Camila Vaccaro
August 9, 2020
> The Alps Are Forever: with author Benjamin Quaderer and translator Elisabeth Lauffer, curated by Alta L. Price - Festival Neue Literatur
> Tracing the Unspoken/Slediti neizgovorjenemu: Author Milan Šelj introduced by publisher Lawrence Schimel
> The Magnetic Fields: Charlotte Mandell reads André Breton and Philippe Soupault
August 16, 2020
> Lullabies and Laments - The Alvar Poets: Experiment in Translation presented by translator Archana Venkatesan and musician Sikkil Gurucharan
> PEN India presents "Endless Song: The Tiruvāymoḻi" by Śaṭhakōpaṉ-Nammāḻvār: a conversation and reading by Translator Archana Venkatesan and Dr. Raj Balkaran
August 23, 2020
> That Hair by Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida: Read by translator Eric M. B. Becker
> Primero/First: poetry reading by Author Claudia Prado and Translator Daniella Gitlin
> Six Translations of a Chinese Koan by Wumen Huikai read by Translator Gnaomi Siemens
August 30, 2020
> The Frightened Ones by Dima Wannous: A conversation with Marcia Lynx Qualey and translator Elisabeth Jaquette
September 6, 2020
> The Bitch: A reading and conversation with author Pilar Quintana and translator Lisa Dillman
> Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor: A reading and analysis by translator Sophie Hughes
September 13, 2020
> The Disoriented: A conversation with author Amin Maalouf and translator Frank Wynne moderated by critic and cultural journalist Maya Jaggi
September 20, 2020
> The Art of Wearing a Trenchcoat by Sergi Pàmies: A reading by translator Adrian Nathan West
> Rose Garden: A reading by author Anna Malihon and translator Olena Jennings
> A Working Woman by Elvira Navarro: A reading by translator Christina MacSweeney
September 27, 2020
> “Words for Woman”: Theories on Reading and Re-reading: With author Susana Moreira Marques and translator Julia Sanches
> Pray to the Empty Wells: A reading and conversation with author Iryna Shuvalova and translator Olena Jennings
October 4, 2020
> Two Blankets, Three Sheets: Author Rodaan Al-Galidi in conversation with translator Jonathan Reeder and publisher/editor Judith Uyterlinde
October 11, 2020
> I am a Japanese Writer by Dany Laferrière: A conversation (with props) with Madhu Kaza and Gabrielle Civil
October 18, 2020: Icelandic Session
> Paid in Lilies: A performance by author and translator Elías Knörr
> "Impostor Syndrome and Other Modern Itches": A conversation and reading with author Fríða Ísberg and translator Larissa Kyzer
> part icle frag ment: A reading with author Kári Tulinius and translator Larissa Kyzer
> The Strongest Woman in the World: A reading with author Steinunn G. Helgadóttir and translator Larissa Kyzer
> Screenshot: A talk and reading by author Bergur Ebbi curated by translator Larissa Kyzer
October 25, 2020
> It's All in the Game: A Conversation on Soccer and Culture with authors Simon Critchley & Jordi Puntí
> This is Not America: A reading and discussion by author Jordi Puntí
November 1, 2020
> Stars in His Eyes: A conversation with author Martí Gironell and chef Jaume Biarnés
November 8, 2020
> Poesia Jazz: With the Albert Marquès Trio and poet Joan Gener
> To The Cypress Again and Again by Salvador Espriu: A reading and commentary by translator Cyrus Cassells
> "Chaos Theory", "Oracle", "Touch" and "Chrome" by Anna Gual: A reading by translator Ann Kaiser
> Book of Minutes and other poems by Gemma Gorga: A reading by translator Sharon Dolin
> Shape: A reading by Author David Gálvez-Casellas and Translator María Cristina Fernández-Hall
> Poetry & Prose: A reading and conversation with author Jordi Llavina and publisher Douglas Suttle
November 15, 2020
> Countersexual Manifesto by Paul B. Preciado: A reading and discussion with scholar Isaias Fanlo and translator Kevin Gerry Dunn
> Concert: "Skylark": performed by Joel Gonzalez
November 22, 2020
> The Uplands: Book of the Courel and Other Poems by Uxío Novoneyra: A reading and interview withtranslator Erín Moure and poet Laura Cesarco Eglin
> La Straniera: A reading and notes with author Claudia Durastanti and translator Elizabeth Harris
November 29, 2020
> The Girl on the Fridge by Etgar Keret and Concrete by Thomas Bernhard: Paul Holdengräber talks about breath and solitude
> "Horse Behavior": A reading by author Ann Kaiser and translations by Francesc Parcerisas (read by Laura Batllori), Dean Ellis, Ae Hee Lee and Giorgi Svanidze
December 6, 2020
> The Color of the Pomegranate: A conversation with author Anna Baar and translator Sophie Duvernoy: Curated by Alta L. Price - Festival Neue Literatur
December 13, 2020
> Flight Was the Most Beautiful Thing We Had: A conversation with author Marta Marín-Dòmine and translator Matthew Tree
> Dark Mother Earth: A conversation with author Kristian Novak and translator Ellen Elias-Bursac
December 20, 2020
> “We Will Witness” (“Hum Dekhenge”) by Faiz Ahmad Faiz: A conversation with William Elison and Anand Taneja
December 27, 2020
> Passage to the Plaza by Sahar Khalifeh: A conversation with Marcia Lynx Qualey and translator Sawad Hussain
January 3, 2021
> Book of Collateral Damage: A reading by Author Sinan Antoon
> Concert: Moeka Shiotsuka
January 10, 2021
> The President of the Jungle by André Rodrigues, Larissa Ribeiro, Paula Desgualdo and Pedro Markun: Read by translator Arlyn Miller-Lachmann
> Sant Jordi i el Drac by Meritxell Martí: A reading by illustrator Xavier Salomó
> Llunicity - The City of the Kids: With Author Jordi Villacampa Viñes
January 17, 2021
> A Dream Come True: The Collected Stories of Juan Carlos Onetti: A reading and commentary by Jonathan Blitzer
> On Juan Carlos Onetti and Silvina Ocampo: A discussion by translator Suzanne Jill Levine
January 24, 2021: Swiss Session
> Department of Projections: With author Matteo Terzaghi and urator and translator Alta L. Price - Festival Neue Literatur
> The Questionable Ones: A conversation with Author Judith Keller and curator and translator Tess Lewis - Festival Neue Literatur
> An Instinctive Feeling of Innocence: A reading and discussion with author Dana Grigorcea and curator and translator Alta L. Price - Festival Neue Literatur
> Those Who Come Later: A reading by author Ivna Žic and curator and translator A. L. Price - Festival Neue Literatur
> Swiss Masters of Microfiction: A brief survey by translator and curator Tess Lewis - Festival Neue Literatur
January 31, 2021
> The Penguin Book of Hell: With author Scott G. Bruce
> Old English poems “Deor, Wulf & Eadwacer" and "The Wife's Lament”: A reading by translator Gnaomi Siemens
February 7, 2021
Stars in His Eyes by Martí Gironell and
The King of Warsaw by Szczepan TwardochA reading and conversation with author Martí Gironell and translator Sean Bye, moderated by publisher Gabriella Page-Fort
February 14, 2021
> Easy Reading: A reading with author Cristina Morales and translator Kevin Gerry Dunn
February 21, 2021
> The Bone Fire (Máglya): A reading with author György Dragomán and translator Ottilie Mulzet (Hungarian and English)
> How to Feed a Dictator: With author Witold Szabłowski and translator Antonia Lloyd-Jones
February 28, 2021
> Real Life: A conversation and reading with author Adeline Dieudonné and publisher Judith Uyterlinde
> Alice Asks the Big Questions: A conversation with author Laurent Gounelle and translator Sandra Smith
March 7, 2021
> Concert: Lau Noah
> The Poison of the Honey Bee: A conversation and reading with Author and Translator Isabel Fargo Cole
and Curator Alta L. Price - Festival Neue Literatur
March 14, 2021
> Concert: Noia
> Voice and Breath/Stimme und Atem: A reading and conversation with Peter Wortsman, writer, playwright, and translator and Tess Lewis, curator - Curated by Tess Lewis - Festival Neue Literatur
> The Treasure of the Spanish Civil War by Serge Pey: A conversation with Translator Donald Nicholson-Smith and Critic/Scholar/Writer Christopher Leland Winks
March 21, 2021
> The Book of Anna: Author Carmen Boullosa interviews translator Samantha Schnee
> Character Costumes「着ぐるみ」: A bilingual reading and conversation with author Kanako Nishi, translator Allison Markin Powell and interpreter Marie Iida
March 28, 2021
> Translation Slam: Uyghur poet Tahir Hamut Izgil with translators Joshua Freeman and Mutallip Anwar, hosted by Karen Emmerich
April 4, 2021
> A Taste of Barcelona: A conversation about food and markets with co-authors Rosi Song and Anna Riera
> Tiawanaku. Poems from the Mother Coqa: A reading and presentation by author Judith Santopietro and translator Ilana Luna
> It Would be Night in Caracas: A reading and conversation with author Karina Sainz Borgo and translator Elizabeth Bryer
April 11, 2021
> A Life Without End: A conversation with Author Frédéric Beigbeder, Translator Frank Wynne and Publisher Judith Uyterlinde
> "Fronda" by Alfonso DAquino and "Untitled" by Nezahualcóyotl: A reading by Translator Forrest Gander, curated by AKaiser
> Why, Why, Why? by Quim Monzó: A conversation with translator Peter Bush and curator Mike Eaude
> Dressed for a Dance in the Snow: Women's Voices from the Gulag: A reading by Author Monika Zgustova
April 17, 2021
> Natural History: A reading and conversation with author Carlos Fonseca and translator Megan McDowell
> Come On Up/Puja a Casa: A reading by author Jordi Nopca and translator Mara Faye Lethem
> Jill! at Sant Jordi: Translations from Iraq, Tibet, and Galicia: Readings by translators Ruwa Alhayek, Tenzin Dickie and Jacob Rogers,
curated by Larissa Kyzer with an introduction by Lisbeth Redfield
April 18, 2021
> Concert: Gilberto & Diana: Concert in Quarantine for Sant Jordi NYC
> "One Day of Life is Life" by Joan Maragall: A presentation by translator Ronald Puppo
> English Hours by Ferran Soldevila: A conversation with translator Alan Yates and publisher Douglas Suttle
> Two poems: A reading by Author Su Xian and Translator Kate Costello
April 29, 2020: Kickstarter brothers and sisters (and cousins),
We are still feeling warm and fuzzy about the Sant Jordi NYC Festival, but we thought you might also like to hear a few facts. Right?
• We featured over 100 events, with over 300 participants, including writers, translators, publishers, curators, musicians, actors, artists, chefs… (not to mention the artists…)
• From the time we launched the web, four weeks ago, we have had 6,863 visits from a total of 4,417 visitors, with over 14,000 page-views. Which means some of you liked us, you really liked us. (Does anyone remember Sally Field?)
• The languages of our visitors were, in order of frequency, English, Japanese, Catalan, Spanish, Hungarian, German, and French
• The countries were the U.S., Spain, Japan, UK, and Andorra. Yes, Andorra!
• By city, the most users came from New York, Barcelona, Lleida (yay, Lleida!), Yokohama, and London
• We were visited from 57 countries. Fifty-seven!
• The average viewer duration was 12:22. It must be said, our viewers have a very good attention span.
• The majority of our viewers came from the U.S., Spain, and Japan. And the average length of view is highest in the U.S., then the UK, then Andorra, and then…Iraq! I’m thinking we have Sinan Antoon to thank for that (❤).
• Our most attentive age group were the 35-44 year-olds, 27% of viewers, who watched an average of 20 minutes and 37 seconds. Way to go, Generation X!
• More women watched than men, but not by much: 51.5% vs. 48.5%
• More people watched on their cell phones than on their computers! 48.4% vs. 44.5%. And 2.6% watched on TV (!)
Today I heard from a person who discovered the Sant Jordi NYC web through a terrific article in Untapped Cities (shoutout to one of my favorite NYC resources). If you reached us through a third party, please let us know how. We’d love to hear from you.
By the way, last chance: Our Kickstarter comes to an end at midnight on April 30th. Please share our beautiful web and fascinating and fun content—did you see “Poetry and Goats” on April 23rd? Or Elías Knörr reciting his poetry in Galician, Icelandic, French, and English, also on April 23rd? Or Gabrielle Civil and Madhu Kaza discussing “I Am A Japanese Writer” by Haitian writer Dany Laferriere? Or Mara Lethem and Jordi Nopca reading on April 26th from the latter’s Come On Up (a cliffhanger that, unless you speak Catalan, will not be resolved until the book comes out in 2021)?
So much good stuff. You can find it now by checking the program to see when it comes up, and then going to “Videos” and scrolling through until you find it. We are working on segmenting the events and making them available separately—coming soon!
The Sant Jordi NYC Team
April 28, 2020: Post-festival reflections on Sant Jordi NYC
If you are reading this now, perhaps you have discovered Sant Jordi NYC after the live-streaming has come to an end. If this is the case, welcome! And if you are returning to see something you missed, welcome back!
This page is going to stay alive, and be increasingly user-friendly. All the events, which are now available as a whole by clicking on the Videos box in the upper-right hand of the screen, will be archived as individual events that can be consulted one by one. Coming soon, we promise!
We hope that you will enjoy or continue to enjoy visiting our virtual city, to hear translators and authors talk about literature—often with their editors and publishers. There were many extraordinary insights into literature and language—check out the Translation Slam, for example, with an incredible discussion of language through Uyghur poetry, or Carmen Boullosa’s delightful interview of Samantha Schnee, the translator of her The Book of Anna, in which translators were variously described as hermit crabs and occupiers of other people’s houses. And, ultimately, as a different kind of writer.
While there, please listen to the original music we presented and experience the state-of-the-art web features, such as the interactive art and AR (augmented reality) features (invite a baby dragon into your home, put our virtual books on your shelves, and our roses in your vases), the beautiful virtual video mapping of the Flatiron building, and the flip book stories of Sant Jordi. We like to think that this variegated offer of events is an integral part of the festival.
Please do consider contributing to our Kickstarter, which will be alive until April 30th. The Festival, as such, is over, but post-production goes on, and we will not only be archiving the events for easy consultation, but featuring them, and adding new ones as we go along.
Welcome to Sant Jordi NYC!
Mary Ann Newman, Laia Cabrera, Isabelle Duverger, Ignacio Garcia-Bustelo
April 26, 2020: Dear friends of Sant Jordi NYC:
Ever since we reached our fundraising goal sometime yesterday afternoon, I have been eager to write you with my sincerest thanks. Your support has been a recognition of the value of this project, which has brought so many people from so many countries together at a time when we have never been farther apart.
But what should have been a tearful goodbye message, a farewell to 24 Hours of Sant Jordi (Online), has turned into an invitation to more literature, music, and AR baby dragons, because our far-flung network of translators, poets, curators, editors, publishers, and literary agents has sent us another 5 1/2 hours of fascinating material. Along with a Concert in Quarantine from Gilberto and Diana, in addition to musical intervals by Robert Moreland.
If you enjoyed the fascinating PEN America Translation Slam devoted to the great Uyghur poet, Tahir Hamut Izgil, in which Karen Emmerich moderated an exercise in live literary analysis between translators Mutallip Anwar and Joshua Freeman; if you were moved by the poignant and wry short stories of best-selling Japanese authors Sayaka Murata and Kanako Nishi, with their respective translators, Ginny Tapley Takemori and Allison Markin Powell, and the consummate interpreter, Marie Iida; if you were charmed and intrigued by author Carmen Boullosa’s interview of her translator, Samantha Schnee—finding new perspectives on the text and on translation itself by flipping the roles, then you must come visit us tomorrow.
In the spirit of Sant Jordi, Catalan literature will be woven throughout the day, including the great Catalan poet, Joan Maragall, translated by Ronald Puppo, Jordi Nopca, translated by Mara Lethem, David Gálvez-Casellas of Andorra with his translator, Maria Cristina Hall, Peter Bush reading from the great Quim Monzó, Ann Kaiser reading Anna Gual…, all interspersed among a reading and conversation about the brilliant new translation of the 9th century Tamil poem The Tiruvāymoḻi or Endless Song, with Dr. Raj Balkaran and the translator, Archana Venkatesan, a reading and discussion of indigenous influences in modern poetry with Judith Santopietro and translator Ilana Luna; a sampling of literatures from the Jill! reading series, curated by Larissa Kyzer, with authors Nazik al-Mala’ika and Badr Shakir al-Sayyab (Iraq), Pema Bhum (Tibet), Alba Cid (Galicia); and their translators, Ruwa Alhaya, Tenzin Dickie, and Jacob Rogers.
And all of this takes place in the cozy, sheltering city created for us by filmmaker and web artists Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger, who have brought you the video mapping of the Flatiron, the webAR features that bring the books, roses, and baby dragons—designed in collaboration with Aniol Saurina Masó. We take this opportunity to remind you that our fundraising goes on: this unusual literary experience would not have been the same without the beautiful environment the artists have created. And the theatrical director, Ignacio García-Bustelo, who has given the program such a subtle structure. Please continue to reach out to your friends—whether they love literature, art, music, or baby dragons--so that we can raise the roof on this Kickstarter even higher!
Mary Ann Newman - The Sant Jordi NYC Team
April 26, 2020: Sant Jordi Sunday in NYC and Washington D.C.
We know this is an embarrassment of riches, but not only is Sant Jordi NYC spilling over into Sunday, but our friends in Washington, D.C. are organizing a Sant Jordi Day tomorrow, as well. We encourage you to check out the virtual Kensington Day of the Book Festival Catalonia Program, up on the website dayofthebook.com. And check out their facebook page.
Toggle back and forth! Join us both!
Also, we have reached our kickstarter goal! Thanks to all of you who donated, we are so grateful!
The Sant Jordi NYC Team
April 25, 2020:
There is an expression in Spanish, morir de éxito, to die of success. It means to be so successful at something that an unintended consequence arises, like the need for crowd control. Or a problem with the supply chain. In our case, it means we have so much amazing literature and music and art that we need to extend Sant Jordi through Sunday. And I’m going to tell you all about it. Bur first…
We are dying of success with our programming, but not with our fundraising. If you are reading this, I am appealing to you to reach out to two or three friends who might enjoy these days of international literature, and ask them to make a donation. Even $5 or $10 will make a difference (after all, $5 x 20 = $100, no?)! Please go to our Kickstarter page at http://kck.st/2wEC7bL.
Yesterday we were delighted to watch Chef Jaume Biarnés prepare Fettucine Marilyn (named after you-know-who) as he chatted with Martí Gironell about Ceferino Carrión's long journey from starving in Barcelona to hobnobbing with the stars at his legendary La Scala restaurant in Los Angeles. Today we will hear editor Gabi Page-Fort talk with Martí and translator Sean Bye about ways to survive in pre-war Europe: escape, like Carrión, or stay and fight (not the way you think), like Jakub Szapiro in Szczepan Twardoch's The King of Warsaw.
But the cooking doesn't stop with Fettucine Marilyn! Antonia Lloyd-Jones brings us a conversation with Witold Szablowski about her brilliant translation of How to Feed a Dictator: the secrets only a personal chef can know about the real life of a political strongman, through interviews by the author. And Rosi Song and Anna Riera will take us on a tour, both contemporary and historical, of Catalan cuisine with A Taste of Barcelona!
If your children are tired of home schooling, video games, arts & crafts, and everything else you come up with to distract them, please tune in at 12 noon for Lunicities, a show for children and adults that follows the phases of the moon, live, with Jordi Villacampa; Prez of the Jungle, a Brazilian fable about dirty politics, with Lyn Miller-Lachmann; and Sota les onades/Bajo las olas, with Xavier Salomó, the illustrator. And to keep them entertained while you watch the literary and musical events, have them try our web augmented reality activities: they can play with a baby dragon—our Dragonet!—and invite him right into your home! And place virtual books and roses anywhere they want. It’s gorgeous.
We will be back with updates throughout the day, but do not miss, at 12:30, the Penguin Book of Hell, by Scott G. Bruce, a compendium of visions of hell from all over the world.
At 1 p.m., you can see the gorgeous video mapping of the Flatiron Building created by our web artists, Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger. And then, a project close to my heart: the tour-de-force music, poetry, and translation creation from Alexis Cuadrado, Rowan Ricardo Phillips and Melcion Mateu. Alexis composed the music for the brilliant poetry of Rowan and Melcion. You will hear how the rhythms of the poems shift with the languages and blend with the music. An incredible experiment in words and music, with a stellar band of musicians: Alexis on the bass, Miguel Zenón on the saxophone, Miles Okazaki on the guitar, and Albert Marqués on the piano. LIVE!
That’s all for now! Kisses, and please write your friends.
The Sant Jordi NYC Team
April 24, 2020: Friends and lovers of international literature,
Friends, Sant Jordi is officially over. If this were any ordinary year in Barcelona, the flower stalls would be returned to the florists and the bookstands would be back in storage. This year, of course, there are no such logistics. There have been beautiful tributes to Sant Jordi: hospital personnel in masks and protective gear holding roses, writers reading favorite books from their homes. Even so, Sant Jordi has drawn to an end in Catalonia.
But Sant Jordi NYC goes on! Please look at the beautiful line-up on the program page. We kick off — never better said — with Jordi Puntí and Simon Critchley, LIVE, at 12 talking soccer at noon, followed by a cooking session, Fettucine Marilyn, straight from the legendary La Scala restaurant in Los Angeles, the topic of Martí Gironell’s Stars in His Eyes. We have heard particularly wonderful things about Claudia Durasanti, and Cyrus Cassell’s has been reading and thinking and translating Salvador Espriu all his life.
We are thrilled that Paul Holdengräber has offered his beautiful thoughts on breath and on solitude, through fragments of Etgar Keret and Thomas Bernhard. And Sinan Antoon will speak about his breathtaking Book of Collateral Damage. And I am leaving out Alta Price with Dana Grigorcea, Matteo Terzaghi, and Ivna Žic, and Tess Lewis with Judith Keller, all outstanding.
Stilll, please do not leave the site without exploring its incredible artistic and technological features: our unique webAR augmented reality game without need of goggles or download! You can invite a baby dragon — our adorable Dragonet created by Aniol Saurina Masó — into your home. If you are trying to keep the children at bay while you listen to the lit, this is your chance! Or maybe you’d like to play with him, too. The projection mapping onto the Flatiron Building Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger were not able to do, is here on our site, with original music by Nana Simopoulos.
Let’s keep the spirit of Sant Jordi alive! Two more days of Sant Jordi NYC! Oh yes, and here is the link to our Kickstarter:
Please help our starving artists survive!
The Sant Jordi NYC Team
April 23, 2020: Bona Diada de Sant Jordi! Sant Jordi’s Day is finally here.
Traditionally we worry about whether it will rain or be cold. This morning, in New York, it snowed! Ironically, confinement has made this a moot point.
Welcome, everyone, to Sant Jordi NYC! We are presenting over 96 literary events in more than a dozen languages. Our beautiful website, designed by the extraordinary artists, Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger, welcomes you on a virtual journey, with webAR (no need for special goggles) and exciting virtual features.
Our musical component, curated by Alexis Cuadrado and Albert Marquès, amazing Catalan jazz musicians based in New York, will allow you for musical interludes among readings and conversations and a series of concerts, live and pre-recorded, by international artists.
We are a team of four — producer and director Ignacio García-Bustelo, is orchestrating our program — with a network of hundreds of writers and translators and commentators who have come together to celebrate Sant Jordi, the most beautiful book fair in the world, invented in Catalonia, and celebrated here in New York, the city of a thousand language.
This is why we devote the festival to literature in translation: to support the presses and bookstores and writers and translators who bring all the world’s voices to you. Speaking of world voices, we are bursting with pride to be collaborating with PEN America and PEN Català. Our first event, at noon today, will be under the umbrella of PEN Català, and our grand finale will be a PEN World Voices Festival Translation Slam. More about this later.
Tonight is Iceland Night, with performances, discussions, and readings, accompanied by Icelandic musical performers. A more detailed message follows!
More messages to come with updates on the program. And please be patient, the program is a work in progress. Events are being added by the hour.
For now, today, at 12 p.m. sharp, let the festivities begin!
Oh, and by the way: please donate to our Kickstarter so that we can give recompense to our extraordinary collaborators: web designers, programmers, and the writers and translators whose livelihoods may be at risk. All proceeds will go to them. And your contribution will be tax-deductible, as the Farragut Fund for Catalan Culture in the U.S. is a not-for-profit organization.
The Sant Jordi NYC Team
April 10, 2020
Two weeks ago we were about to launch the NYC version of Barcelona’s Sant Jordi Book Fair. There would be lit crawls in Chelsea and DUMBO, and bookstands and flower stalls in Madison Square. And concerts and guest authors. All swept away by COVID-19.
So. We’re going online. We’ve reinvented the festival as 24 hours of Sant Jordi NYC (Online). Three days of literature in translation, 8 hours a day, from April 23 to 25, in this international literary portal.
This is a truly original online experience through which people can enter and choose an area of activity following different narratives from within the illustration of the cityscape of Madison Square, with animated illustrations, web-based AR experience, video mapping, original music, and, above all, a surprising array of international literature.
True to the spirit of Sant Jordi, our Kickstarter seeks funding for two purposes: to support bookstores and publishers by bringing their books into your homes through our gorgeous virtual city, and to offer a stipend to the writers, translators, and musicians who will reach you through Sant Jordi NYC.