Monday, December 14, 2015

Café San Martín: Reading Mexican Poet Agustín Cadena at the Café Passé in Tucson, Arizona

Sparkling sky and only a jeans jacket on the night before Halloween, University of Arizona students everywhere, in witches' hats and zombie makeup: that's how it was in Tucson when, as part of the American Literary Translators Conference "Café Latino" bilingual reading fiesta at Café Passé in Tucson, I read my translation, together with the Spanish original, of Mexican poet Agustín Cadena's poem "Café San Martín." That translation appears in poet Sarah Cortez's recent anthology, Goodbye Mexico (Texas Tech Press).

> Read Cadena's poem and about Goodbye Mexico here.

> Listen to the recording of my reading of Cadena's "Cafe San Martin" in the Café Passé as a podcast here.

Alas, Cadena could not be in Tucson because he lives in Hungary, where he teaches Latin American Literary in Debrecen. Follow his blog, El vino y la hiel.

Cadena's name and many works -- he is incredibly prolific and writes in almost every genre--were mentioned many times over the course of this year's ALTA conference. My dear amiga Patricia Dubrava, who also translates Cadena's poems and short fiction, shared a panel with me on the following day. 

Read about that panel, and my talk for that panel, here.

It was an extra special honor to read Cadena's poem and my translation because not only is Cadena a treasure of a writer-- among the very finest Mexico has ever produced-- but he has translated many of my works, including the most recent Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution (as Odisea metafísica hacia la Revolución Mexicana). 

The audience was also especially distinguished, including Jeffrey C. BarnettMary BergEllen CassedyDick Cluster,  Pamela Carmel, Jill Gibian, Jesse Lee KerchevalSuzanne Jill LevineAngela McEwan, Barbara Paschke, Liliana Valenzuela, and so many other writers, poets and literary translators of note. 

And a very special thank you to Alexis Levitin, my favorite Portuguese translator (and, by the way, editor of Brazil: A Traveler's Literary Companion), who organized and MC'ed the reading.

P.S. I will be teaching the workshop "Podcasting for Writers" as part of the San Miguel Writers Conference this February 2016 in Mexico. More about that on my workshop schedule page and on the San Miguel Writers Conference page.