Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tonight at the Library of Congress: Michael D. Coe "The Kislak Oyohualli Shell Pendant: Eroticism and War Among the Toltecs"

7 pm Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building, Library of Congress, 10 First St SE

Mexico Swine Flu Update: Dr Carlos del Rio, Expert on Infectious Diseases, Writing for CNN

Carlos del Rio, MD, is the Hubert Professor and chair in the global health department at the Rollins School of Public Health and professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at Emory University's School of Medicine. Del Rio is a native of Mexico and was executive director of the National AIDS Council of Mexico from 1992 through 1996. Read his important new article for CNN:

Rosedale, the Historic Country Estate in Washington DC Founded by General Uriah Forrest

Apropos of the publication of my novel, The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, new on the webpage: Rosedale, Washington D.C.'s Historic Estate founded by the prince's great grandfather, General Uriah Forrest.
(I snapped this photo a few years ago, in winter, obviously. Right now the lawn is emerald-green and the trees in glorious bloom.)
Photo Copyright (c) C.M. Mayo

Read an excerpt from the opening of the novel, "The Darling of Rosedale" (originally in Potomac Review).

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mexico Flu Outbreak: Links

It really is serious. Here's an excellent interview by National Public Radio's Jacki Lyden with science writer Laurie Garrett--- exactly why this is so dangerous, what happened in 1918, and what you can do to protect yourself. Also, Inside Mexico offers some tips for protecting yourself here.

If you protect yourself, you may also save someone else's life. This can be highly contagious. As Laurie Garrett explains, the genetic material in this virus is similar to the 1918 strain.

More anon.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Road Trip: Review of Best of Contemporary Mexican Fiction

Pablo Jaime Sainz, contributing writer to the Union-Tribune's Latino newspaper, Enlace, just published this review of the splendid new anthology, Best of Contemporary Fiction in Sunday's San Diego Union tribune. It includes one of my translations, of a magnificent short story about Ishi by Alvaro Enrigue.

PS If you're interested in Mexican literature, check out my 2006 anthology, a portrait of Mexico in 24 Mexican works of fiction and literary prose: Mexico: A Traveler's Literary Companion.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Poetry From the Inside Out: A Pocketful of Voices / Un Bolsillo de Voces

A delightful new book is almost out-- publication date May 2009-- from the Center for the Art of Translation: A Pocketful of Voices / Un Bolsillo de Voces, a bilingual collection of poetry and translation edited by Maria Gould, Anita Sagastegui, and John Oliver Simon. It defies easy description; it's a charming collection of childrens poetry and translation, but much more than this. It includes side-by-side poems and translations by children as well as works by major poets, among them, Alberto Blanco, Pablo Neruda, Gioconda Belli, Octavio Paz and Rainer Maria Rilke. Read more about this book, its use in the classroom, and the Center for the Art of Translation at Order the book here. Teachers take note: If you want to receive information about how to bring PIO to your school or classroom, or how you can support PIO programs in your local schools, please contact Sarah Valor at

The press release says,
A Pocketful of Voices is an ideal volume for introducing world poetry to children eight and up and is an indispensable resource for educators and students of all ages in literature, creative writing, Spanish, and multilingual classrooms.

I quite agree, and highly recommend it.

P.S. John Oliver Simon is the translator of Tameme's latest chapbook, Jorge Fernandez Granados' Ghosts of the Palace of Blue Tiles. Read an interview with John Oliver Simon here.

More anon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mexican Cultural Institute of Washington DC: Ruben Gallo, Barbara Tenenbaum, David Huerta, Mark Schafer

Three excellent Mexican literary events in DC this week:

Thursday April 16th @ 6:30 pm "Mexican Modernity: A lecture about artists and writers living in Mexico City in the early 20th century" A conversation between Ruben Gallo and Barbara Tenenbaum. Gallo is an award-winning writer and scholar and professor of Latin American literature at Princeton University. Tenenbaum is the Specialist in Mexican Culture at the Library of Congress. She is currently writing a history of Mexico City.

P.S. Re: Mexican artists: check out this 2008 guest-blog post for Madam Mayo here.

Friday April 17 @ 12 pm, Library of Congress, and @ 4 pm, Georgetown University, Room ICC-450, "Two Bilingual Readings with acclaimed Mexican poet David Huerta and translator Mark Schafer. Huerta is one of Mexico's most important living poets. Shafer has translated the poetry, novels, stories and essays of numerous Latin American writers. He is also a visual artist.

And then, on May 12 also at the Mexican Cultural Institute of Washington DC, I'll be presenting my historical novel based on the true story, The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, with an introduction by John Tutino, professor of History, Georgetown Univertsity. More about that anon.

Agustin de Iturbide y Green (1863-1925)

Photo now on-line here.


>>> The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire by C.M. Mayo, the novel based on the true story (Unbridled Books, 2009; paperback 2010)

>>> El último príncipe del Imperio Mexicano por C.M. Mayo, la novela basada en la historia de la vida real. (Grijalbo-Random House-Mondadori, 2010).

Poetic Voices Without Borders 2, Reading in Arlington, Virginia

In Celebration of Poetry Month and the Release of

Poetic Voices Without Borders 2:
Thursday April 23, 2009 at 7 PM
The Arlington Arts Center
3550 Wilson Blvd. (across from the Virginia Square Metro stop)
Arlington, VA ~ 703.248.6800

A Special Reading with the Following Poets

Luis Alberto Ambroggio, member of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language and PEN, is the author of ten published books of poetry. His poetry is recorded in the Archives of the Hispanic-American Literature of the Library of Congress.
Naomi Ayala, recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, is the author of two books of poetry: Wild Animals on the Moon and This Side of Early. She has been featured on Poetry Daily, and her poems and book reviews have appeared in such publications as Ploughshares, MARGIN: Exploring Modern Magical Realism, Saheb Ghalam Daily (Afghanistan), Feminist Teacher, and the Washington Post.
Mel Belin’s first book, Flesh That Was Chrysalis, was published by The Word Works, Inc. He has been a winner of Potomac Review’s third annual poetry competition, a runner-up in an Antietam Review competition, and published widely in journals and magazines nationwide. His poetry has been aired on a program distributed by National Public Radio.
Jody Bolz, the author of A Lesson in Narrative Time (Gihon Books, 2004), has published widely in literary journals (the American Scholar, Indiana Review, and Ploughshares, among them) and in many poetry anthologies. She taught for more than twenty years at George Washington University, serving twice as acting director of the creative writing program there. Bolz edits Poet Lore, America’s oldest poetry magazine, established in 1889.
Ye Chun, a native of China, has published one book of poetry: Travel Over Water (The Bitter Oleander Press).
Teri Ellen Cross holds an MFA in Poetry from American University. A Cave Canem fellow, her poems have been published in many anthologies and online. She resides in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Patricia Garfinkel has published three books of poetry, the latest, Making the Skeleton Dance (George Braziller Publishers). She has published numerous poems in literary journals and magazines, won two Poetry-in-Public-Places awards, and gave the first poetry reading ever held at the National Air and Space Museum. She is a senior science policy analyst and speech writer for the director and deputy director of the National Science Foundation.
Peter Klappert is the author of six collections of poems, including Lugging Vegetables to Nantucket (Yale Series of Younger Poets, 1971), The Idiot Princess of the Last Dynasty (Knopf, 1984), and Chokecherries: New and Selected Poems 1966-1999.
Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda, Virginia’s former Poet Laureate, is the author of five poetry books and co-editor of two poetry anthologies. Her award-winning poems have appeared throughout the United States and abroad in numerous publications, including Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, and Mid-American Review. In 1992, she was named a Virginia Cultural Laureate for her contributions to American literature.
C. M. Mayo is the author of Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico (Milkweed Editions), and Sky Over El Nido (University of Georgia Press), which won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Her poetry has been widely published in literary journals, among them, BorderSenses, Lyric, Natural Bridge, Rio Grande Review, and West Branch, and several anthologies, most recently in the first volume of Poetic Voices Without Borders. Visit:
Judith McCombs has published poetry and short-short fiction in Calyx, Feminist Studies, Kansas Quarterly, Nimrod (a Neruda Award), Poet Lore, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Potomac Review (Poetry Prize), Prairie Schooner, among other publications. Her poetry books include Against Nature: Wilderness Poems and The Habit of Fire: Poems Selected & New, which was a finalist for the 2006 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award. She teaches at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and arranges the Kensington Row Bookshop Poetry Readings.
E. Ethelbert Miller, a literary activist, is board chair of the Institute for Policy Studies and a board member of the Writer’s Center and editor of Poet Lore magazine. The author of several collections of poems, his last book How We Sleep on the Nights We Don’t Make Love (Curbstone Press, 2004) was an Independent Publisher Award Finalist. He received the 1995 O.B. Hardison Jr. Poetry Prize. In 2003 his memoir Fathering Words: The Making of An African American Writer (St. Martin’s Press, 2000) was selected by DC WE READ for its one book, one city program sponsored by the D.C. Public Libraries. Poets & Writers presented him with the 2007 Barnes & Noble/Writers for Writers Award. Two books will be released in 2009: On Saturdays I Santana with You (Curbstone Press) and The 5th Inning (Busboys and Poets/PM Press), a second memoir.
Miles David Moore is a member of the board of directors of The Word Works. He is founder and host of the Iota poetry reading series in Arlington, Virginia. His books are The Bears of Paris (Word Works, 1995); Buddha Isn’t Laughing (Argonne House Press, 1999); and Rollercoaster (Word Works, 2004).
Richard Peabody is the founding editor of Gargoyle Magazine, and co-editor of the Mondo series (Mondo Barbie, Mondo Elvis, et al.). Between juggling kids, teaching, trying to write, and worrying about the state of the world, he has edited twenty-two anthologies and has five books of poetry and three books of fiction of his own. In addition, he runs Paycock Press in Arlington, Virginia. Visit:
Kim Roberts is the author of two books of poems, The Kimnama (Vrzhu Press, 2007), and The Wishbone Galaxy (WWPH, 1994). She edits Beltway Poetry Quarterly, an on-line journal of authors from the greater Washington, DC area.
Blake Robinson’s poetry has appeared in Pairs and the one-volume Effing the Ineff and Distich Farm. He has translated works by Sandro Penna (Remember Me, God of Love), Eugène Fromentin (Between Sea and Sahara), Alberto Savinio (Paris Then) and, most recently, C. H. Ramuz (The Young Man from Savoy).
M. A. Schaffner has had poetry published in Stand (UK), the Beloit Poetry Journal, ARC (Canada), Poet Lore, the Mississippi Review, and many other journals in the USA and abroad. He is also the author of the collection, The Good Opinion of Squirrels (Word Works, 1997) and the novel, War Boys (Welcome Rain, 2002). When not writing, Schaffner works as a civil servant in Washington, DC.
Gregg Shapiro, pop-culture journalist, has had interviews and reviews appear in a variety of regional LGBT publications and websites. His poetry and fiction have appeared in numerous outlets including literary journals such as Beltway, modern words, Bloom, White Crane Journal, Blithe House Quarterly, Mipoesias, and the anthologies Sex & Chocolate: Tasty Morsels for Mind and Body (Paycock Press) and Blood to Remember. His collection of poems, Protection, was published in 2008 (Gival Press).
J. D. Smith, who was awarded a 2007 Fellowship in Poetry from the National Endowment for the Arts, is working on his third collection of poems. Visit:
Robert L. Giron, founder of Gival Press, has written five collections of poetry and is the editor of the Poetic Voices Without Borders series and the online journal He teaches English and creative writing at Montgomery College-Takoma Park/Silver Spring, Maryland, where he also serves as a poetry editor for Potomac Review.
More anon.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tweets about Twitter

Light posting this week, as I'm working on a brief piece about twitter for (of all things) a literary journal. If you don't know about twitter, um, what planet on are you on? But what is it? The mutt's nuts, I guess. I figured I'd quote the literary tweeters themselves.

A few nuggets so far:

@trhummer Twitter is an aphorism machine

@Sandra_Gulland Twitter is "poetry of the mundane" @ChetG Page Six magazine

and say I:

@madammayo Twitter is fishing in Niagara

But that isn't the whole enchilada. It's also broadcasting / navel gazing / conversation... and why not a new literary genre?

@c_m_mayo Following no one, having no followers, she was like the woman in the back closet, grumbling at the blankets, existing on mothballed air

Read TR Hummer's post on twitter over at Mindbook.

More anon.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Río Frío

Río Frío (Cold River) is a town on the superhighway between Mexico City and the city of Puebla. Sneeze and you'd miss it. But back in the time of my novel-- the mid-19th century-- it was an important stop on the stagecoach highway that came through the sierra en route to Puebla and the main port at Veracruz. There was an inn and a fort, which, from the look of it today, must have taken a couple century's worth of bullets and mortars. In March 1866, Baron Frederic Victor d'Huart, a close friend and aide to the Empress Carlota's brother, the Duke of Flanders, was murdered here by bandits.

This is a photo of trees along the road, as I imagine the stagecoach highway might have looked then.

Here's the fort:

More about Baron Frederic Victor d'Huart and Río Frío anon.
P.S. Here's a post about Alan Flukey's translation of Manuel Payno's classic novel The Bandits from Río Frío.

The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire: Bibliography

Pub date for The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire is May 5th. The list of selected books consulted is now on-line. I've added a few links to relevant blog posts and in the coming days will be adding more. Some of these works are now available on-line in their entirety.

Aguilar Ochoa, Arturo, ed., La fotografía durante el Imperio de Maximiliano.

Almonte, Juan Nepomuceno, Guía de forasteros y repertorio de conocimientos útiles.

Arróniz, Marcos, Manual del viajero en México, Paris: 1858.

Ávila, Lorenzo, ed., Testimonios artísticos de un episodio fugáz 1864-1867.

Basch, Dr. S., (translated by Hugh McAden Oechler), Memories of Mexico: A History of the Last Ten Months of the Empire.

Bigelow, John, Reminiscences of an Active Life. 3 volumes.

Blanchot, Col. Charles, Mémoires: L'Intervention Française au Mexique. 3 volumes.

Blasio, José Luis, Maximiliano íntimo: El Emperador Maximiliano y su corte.

Buffum, E. Gould, Sights and Sensations in France, Germany, and Switzerland; or, Experiences of an American Journalist in Europe.

Clay, Mrs., A Belle of the Fifties: Memoirs of Mrs Clay, of Alabama, Covering Social and Political Life in Washington and the South, 1853-66.

Conte Corti, Egon César, Maximiliano y Carlota.

Cortina del Valle, Elena, ed., De Miramar a México.

Evans, Henry Ridgely, Old Georgetown on the Potomac.
Evans, Dr. Thomas W., The Second French Empire: Napoleon the Third; The Empress Eugénie; The Prince Imperial.

Fabiani, Rossella, Miramare Castle: The Historic Museum.

Gooch, Fanny Chambers, Face to Face With the Mexicans. Original, unedited edition.

Hamann, Brigitte, Con Maximiliano en México: Del diario del príncipe Carl Khevenhüller, 1864-1867.

Haslip, Joan, The Crown of Mexico.

Kearny de Iturbide, Louise, My Story. Manuscript, Catholic University Archives.

Iturriaga de la Fuente, José N., Escritos mexicanos de Carlota de Bélgica.

Kolonitz, Paula, Un viaje a México en 1864. Translated by Neftali Beltrán.

Leech, Margaret, Reveille in Washington, 1860-1865.

Lombardo de Miramón, Concepción, Memorias.

Luca de Tena, Ciudad de México en tiempos de Maximiliano.

Magruder, Henry R., Sketches of the Last Year of the Mexican Empire.

Mann-Kenney, Louise, Rosedale: The Eighteenth Century Country Estate of General Uriah Forrest, Cleveland Park, Washington DC.

Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, Recollections of My Life. 3 volumes.

Michael, Prince of Greece, The Empress of Farewells: The Story of Charlotte, Empress of Mexico.

Meyer, Jean, ed., Yo, el francés: Biografías y crónicas.

Ortiz, Orlando, Diré adiós a los señores: Vida cotidiana en la época de Maximiliano y Carlota.

Pani, Erika, El Segundo Imperio.

Payno, Manuel, The Bandits from Río Frío. Translated by Alan Fluckey.

Ratz, Konrad, Tras las huellas de un desconocido.

Ratz, Konrad, Correspondencia inédita entre Maximiliano y Carlota.

Reglamento y ceremonial de la Corte, 1866. Second Edition.

Ridley, Jasper, Maximilian and Juárez.

Romero de Terreros, Manuel, La corte de Maximiliano: Cartas de don Ignacio Algara.

Robertson, William Spence, Iturbide de México.

Ruiz, Ramón Eduardo, ed., An American In Maximilian's Mexico, 1865-1866: The Diaries of William Marshall Anderson.

Salm-Salm, Felix, The Diary of Prince Salm-Salm.

Salm-Salm, Princess (Agnes), Ten Years of My Life.

Solares Robles, Laura, La obra política de Manuel Gómez Pedraza.

Stevenson, Sara Yorke, Maximilian in Mexico: A Woman's Reminiscences of the French Intervention 1862-1867.

Villalpando, José Manuel, Maximiliano.

Warner, William W., At Peace with All Their Neighbors: Catholics and Catholicism in the National Capital, 1787-1860.

Windle, Mary J., Life in Washington.