Monday, April 29, 2019

Michael F. Suarez’s Ted Talk “Glorious Bookishness: Learning Anew in the Material World” / Plus, From the Archives: “Translating Across the (US-Mexico) Border”

By C.M. Mayo
My favorite rare book historian Michael F. Suarez, SJ gives this excellent talk for TEDxCharlotteville:
Poco a poco (bit by bit), since January of this year I have been migrating selected and updated posts from Madam Mayo’soriginal Google Blogger platform to self-hosted WordPress here at www.madam-mayo.comMadam Mayo goes all the way back to the Cambrianesquely Blogasonic Explosion, I mean, um, 2006… This past week I’ve worked a bit on the translation posts, among them:
Originally posted October 29, 2015
Edited Transcript of a Talk by C.M. Mayo
at the annual conference of the
American Literary Translators Association (ALTA)
Muchísimas gracias, Mark Weiss, and thank you also to my fellow panelists, it is an honor to sit on this dias with you. Thank you all for coming. It is especially apt to be talking about translating Mexican writing here, a jog from the Mexican border, in Tucson—or Tuk-son as the Mexicans pronounce it.
I grew up in Northern California and was educated in various places but mainly the University of Chicago. As far as Mexico went, until I was in my mid-twenties, I had absorbed, to use historian John Tutino’s term, the “enduring presumptions.” Translation: I had zero interest in Mexico.
You know that old saying, if you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans?
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Monday, April 22, 2019

Q & A: Joseph Hutchison, Poet Laureate of Colorado, on "The World As Is"

By C.M. Mayo

This blog posts on Mondays. This year the fourth Monday of the month is devoted to a Q & A with a fellow writer.


The World As Is: New and Selected Poems 1972-2015 by Joseph Hutchison
Photo by C.M. Mayo. 
(My own fave is “Poem to Be Kept Like a Candle, In Case of Emergencies.”)
One of the blogs I’ve been following for a good long time is poet Joseph Hutchison’s The Perpetual Bird. We have never met in person but I feel as if we have; moreover, we have friends in common, among them, poet, essayist and translator Patricia Dubrava– and if my memory serves, it was her blog, Holding the Light, that first sent me to The Perpetual Bird. Here on my desk I have Hutchison’s collection of his works of several decades, The World As Is. From publisher NYQ Books’ catalog copy:   >> CONTINUE READING THIS POST AT WWW.MADAM-MAYO.COM

Monday, April 15, 2019

Texas Pecan Pie for Dieters, Plus from the Archives: A Review of James McWilliams' "The Pecan"

By C.M. Mayo

What’s a Texas pecan pie for dieters? It’s the same as the normal pie– loads of pecans, butter, and sugar– but it’s a tiny pie. And I happen to have the perfect tiny Texas pie dish for it– a work of art by Alpine, Texas-based ceramic artist Judy Howell Freeman. It’s one of the loveliest pie dishes I have ever seen. My photo does not do it justice.


Monday, April 08, 2019

This Writer’s Distraction Free Smartphone (DFS): First Quarter Update

By C.M. Mayo

This blog posts on Mondays. As of 2019 the second Monday of the month is devoted to my writing workshop students and anyone else interested in creative writing. (You can find my workshop schedule and many more resources for writers on my workshop page.)

As a writer your foremost resource is your creativity applied by the sustained power of your attentional focus.

Your foremost writerly resource is your creativity applied by the sustained power of your attentional focus. The Muse can gift you with a zillion ideas every minute of the day, but if you cannot plant yourself in your chair and stay focused on your writing, your book will ever and always remain an unfulfilled wish, a ghost of your imagination. 

Most people have forfeited more than a generous portion of their attentional focus to their smartphones– to checking and scrolling through text messages, social media feeds, games, shopping, news, YouTube videos & etc. Ergo, I would suggest that if you want to get some writing done, don’t be like most people: consider your smartphone use. Very carefully.

And honestly. Yes, smartphones are gee-whiz useful. But when you consider how much of your time and attention they can so easily suck up, day after day after day, you can recognize how exceedingly dangerous they are to you as a writer.

Monday, April 01, 2019

AWP 2019 (Think No One Is Reading Books and Litmags Anymore?)

By C.M. Mayo

After attending for more years than I can count, I swore off the annual conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs after Seattle 2014 in lieu of fewer, more narrowly focused, and smaller writers conferences. If you’re not familiar with it, AWP is huger than H*U*G*E, with an eye-addling and foot blister-inducing bookfair, plus endless panels, scads of receptions (free cheese cubes!), readings, and more readings, and even more readings. Finding friends at AWP oftentimes feels like trying to meet up at Grand Central Station at rush hour. Of the few panels that do appeal, dagnabbit, they somehow occupy the same time slot. Then try finding a table for an impromptu group of 13 on Friday at 7 PM! But sometimes, never mind, it all aligns beautifully and you can find friends and inspiration and new friends and all whatnot!