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New York: 2018 Ottaway Award

Chad W. Post of Open Letter Books to Receive 2018 Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature

Post will be honored at the Words Without Borders 15th Anniversary Gala on October 30

New York, New York, September 5, 2018—Chad W. Post, director of Open Letter Books and managing editor of Three Percent, will receive the 2018 Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature, Words Without Borders announced today. The annual award will be presented at the 2018 Words Without Borders Gala on October 30 in New York City.

Chad W. Post

For more than a decade, Chad W. Post has been a leading voice for the promotion of international literature. Since 2007 he has directed Open Letter Books, a press at the University of Rochester dedicated to publishing contemporary literature from around the world. Under Post’s direction, Open Letter has published over 100 books from more than forty-four countries and twenty-six languages, including works by such contemporary heavyweights as Naja Marie Aidt, Dubravka Ugresic, Bae Suah, Can Xue, Sergio Chejfec, and Mathias Énard. Post is also the managing editor of Three Percent, a blog and review site that promotes literature in translation and has generated a number of related projects, including the Translation Database, the only database of its kind in the world, and the Best Translated Book Awards, one of the most prestigious awards for international literature.

“Through his vital work with Open Letter, the Translation Database, his Three Percent blog, and founding of the Best Translated Book Award, Chad Post has done more than perhaps any other individual to identify and begin to fill the void for translated literature in the US,” said Words Without Borders Board Chair Samantha Schnee. “We are thrilled to celebrate his tremendous contributions and achievements with this year’s Ottaway Award.”

The award will be presented to Post by Deep Vellum publisher Will Evans at the annual Words Without Borders gala on October 30, 2018, in New York City.

Named in honor of the first chair of Words Without Borders, James H. Ottaway, Jr., the annual award recognizes an individual whose work and activism have supported WWB’s mission of promoting cultural understanding through the publication and promotion of international literature. Past awardees include Jill Schoolman, Barbara Epler, Sara Bershtel, the late Carol Brown Janeway, and Drenka Willen.

The 2018 Words Without Borders gala will celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the organization founded by Alane Salierno Mason, Dedi Felman, and Samantha Schnee in 2003. Co-chaired by Samantha Schnee, Cristóbal Pera, and Gabriella Page-Fort, with honorary chair André Aciman (Call Me By Your Name) and host Rakesh Satyal (No One Can Pronounce My Name), the event will be held at Tribeca Three Sixty in New York City on October 30, 2018. Other special guests and sponsors will be announced next week.

Tickets to the Words Without Borders 15th Anniversary Gala are on sale now. For more information about the event or to sponsor a table, please contact giving@wordswithoutborders.org.

Words Without Borders expands cultural understanding through the translation, publication, and promotion of the finest contemporary international literature. Our flagship online magazine of contemporary literature in English translation won an inaugural Whiting Foundation Literary Magazine Prize in 2018. Our online education program, WWB Campus, received an honorable mention for the 2018 National Book Foundation Innovations in Reading Prize. WWB Campus is a free website that connects classrooms to contemporary international literature to enrich students’ understanding of the world and inspire empathy across cultures.

Die Plattform

Die jungen AutorInnen der Grazer Gruppe „die plattform“ im Literaturhaus

Die Zukunft [der Literatur]

Im März war ich wieder einmal im Literatur h aus Graz bei einer Präsentation der Ergebnisse eines Schreibworkshops, den die damalige Grazer Stadtschreiberin Radka Denemarková mit Anna Fercher, Julia Fliesser, Katrin Jeßner, Florian Labitsch, Stephanie Lindner, Jürgen Miedl, Judith Pataki, Johanna Schmidt, und Björn Treber, AutorInnen der Grazer Literaturgruppe „die plattform“ gehalten hat.

Von einigen der dargebotenen Texte war ich so angetan, dass ich sogleich meine Literaturzeitschrift zur Veröffentlichung anbot.  Das könnte die Gangan (Sonder-)Nummer 50 werden,  deren Thema ohnedies der Zukunft und damit der nächsten Generation der Literaten zugedacht war. Meine „perspektive“ der 80-er Jahre wäre heute vielleicht „die plattform„. Möglich.

Aber die erwartete Begeisterung über mein großzügiges Angebot blieb aus, ja, die Gruppe hatte noch dazu die Arroganz, mir nicht einmal mit einer höflichen Absage zu antworten . Die Befindlichkeit der jungen Leute klar wurde, als ich ein Telefongespräch zwischen einem Gruppenmitglied und Alfred Kolleritsch mithören musste. Ich nehme an, die junge Frau wollte mir demonstrieren, dass sie außer ihrem „Freddy“ keine anderen Förderer für ihre Karriere braucht.

Ein schlechtes Zeugnis für die Nachrückenden. Das meinte auch der Forum Stadtpark Literaturmacher und experimentelle Autor Max Höfler (40), der zur mittleren Generation zählt. „die jüngere generation der schreiberlinge in graz ist naja wie soll ich es ausdrücken ziemlich gewöhnungsbedürftig“. Daraufhin hatte er gleich den Job des Gastherausgebers.  Ich bin ich schon gespannt, wer mit ihm aller in die Zukunftsausgabe des Lit-Mags kommt.

Catherine Basilicata

Catherine Basilicata, Australia

No more Goodbyes

What if I never kissed your lips again
Or feel the touch of your warm embrace
How would I go on
Without you my heart has no place to belong.

Someday I’m hoping love’s going to draw you away from the sea.
Until then my heart remains empty,
So, I’ll just have to believe
Somewhere out there you’re thinking of me.

The day you let me go and your next hello,
It’s not goodbye.
I’m hoping to see you again,
I’ll be remembering our times, and if time is on our side –
There will be no more fears or cries.
Deep in the ocean, there’s one thing you can’t deny:

You think I’d be strong enough to make it through,
And rise above when you emerge from the sea,
It’s so hard when you’re missing someone so long.
Please no more goodbyes.

 

Catherine Basilicata lives in Wollongong, Australia

Colin James

Colin James

Two poems

AN ANTI THEIST’S SURRENDER

The lines of children were cognizant
of an uprising. This was evident in
their diffidence to the wind and the way
scars healed from the inside despite
a continuous onslaught of moral beatings,
the noble bullies barely having time to adjust.
Fatalistically, the swooning became the resolve.

CHOKING ON AFFLUENCE, THE COUGH SYMPTOMS

I watched some human like insects
scale my foot and drill into
the bone above the ankle.
I felt nothing.
Waist bent anomalously
ears, eyes closer.
They climbed higher
voices, not pronounced words.
They reached the top of my head
just as the sun was giving up.
I went cross eyed trying to explain,
this was not substantively organic.

 

Colin James has a book of poems Resisting Probability from Sagging Meniscus Press and a chapbook A THOROUGHNESS NOT DEPRIVED OF ABSURDITY. He lives in Massachusetts.

Philip Loyd

Philip Loyd

Elephants Never Forget

I sneaked another peak at her across the bar, trying my best to not look like I was looking, but it was too late, she had seen me already.  Why was I trying to avoid being seen?  Because I was shy?  Not hardly.  I was lonely, and I didn’t want to look like it.

More than that, I was horny, REALLY horny.  The only problem was, she was fat: hippopotamus fat.  It was nothing a few more beers couldn’t take care of, however, and anyway, there’s no shame in being lonely.

She looked familiar.  Maybe I had seen her before.  She just had that look about her, like I knew her from somewhere.  I looked in the other direction, but it was too late; she was already on her way over.

“Excuse me,” she said, “but you look so familiar.  Do I know you?”

“I’m not sure,” I said, still trying to pretend like I hadn’t been looking.  Loneliness is a hideous bitch.

“I’m sure I do,” she said.  “Do you come here often?”

If a man had said that, it would have been a line.

“Not really,” I said, “at least, not anymore.  It’s been fifteen years since I moved out west.”

“It’s just that, you look so familiar,” she said.

“It happens.”

“Where do you live out west?”

“Aspen.”

“Aspen?” she said. “Cool.  I’ve always wanted to go to California.”

So she was dumb.  So what?

“Are you from here originally?” she said.

“Yes, just down the road.”

“Did you go to Briardale Elementary?”

“Yes.”

“Small world. Me, too.”

“Small world,” I said.  “Would you like another beer?”

Stupid question.  Turns out, the fat cow could drink me under the table.

She said her name was Kelli.  Kelli, with an i.  Kelli with an i ?  That did sound familiar.

“My name is Jeffery,” I told her.  “Jeffrey Joe Paul.”

“Jeffrey Joe Paul?” she said.  “Of course.  I knew I knew you.  Kelli Kirkpatrick.  We went to McKinley High together.”

“We did?”

“Yes, silly.  Mrs. McGonaguill, homeroom.  Don’t you remember?”

“Kelli Kirkpatrick?”

“In the flesh.”

As we continued talking, drinking more and more beer, it all started coming back to me, where I remembered her from, and it surely wasn’t Mrs. McGonaguill’s homeroom.  It was here, right here at this very same bar.  My only hope was that she had forgotten all about it.  The problem was, elephants never forget.

“You don’t remember meeting here?” she said.

Damn!

“Not as such,” I said.  I was lying.

“Granted, it was a long time ago,” she said, “but I remember it just like it was yesterday.”

Of course you do.

“It was the night of the big fight, remember?” she said.  “You and I ducked out just in the nick of time.  Then we went down to Lazy Dave’s, then back to your place.  Still don’t remember?”

I told her sorry, but I did not.

“We made love until the sun came up,” she said.  “Of course, I’ve lost a lot of weight since then.  Maybe that’s why you don’t recognize me?’

elephant

Lost a lot of weight?  Sweet Jesus.

“You told me you would call,” she said, “but you never did.”

That’s because it was a line, you stupid cow.

“I tried calling you for weeks.  I called your house, I called your work, I called your mother, I came by your apartment, I left notes on your door, I sat on your porch all night waiting for you.”

Of course I remembered.  It’s the whole reason I moved to Aspen in the first place.

“So what happened?” she said.  “Why didn’t you call?  You said you would call.  I was waiting for you to call.”

You’d think at this point a guy like me would have enough sense to get the hell out of there.  You’d think that, but you’d be wrong.  Remember what I said about loneliness?  It’s a hideous bitch, and it’s no goddess.

I decided to deal with it the same way I deal with most of my problems: by drinking more beer. By morning I realized, I was going to have to move again.  I hear Atlanta is real nice this time of year.

 

Philip Loyd loves fat chicks and cheap beer, though not necessarily in that order. His first novel, You Lucky Bastard, is represented by New York Literary Agent Jan Kardys. Loyd lives in Dumbass, Texas.

Walter Hoelbling

Walter Hoelbling

gone

where have conversations gone
long time passing
where have all our love words gone
long time ago
where have all our love words gone
mobiles took them, every one
when will we ever learn
I hope they will return

wiehere have all the mobiles gone
long time passing
where have all the notebooks gone
long time ago
where have all the kindles gone
turned to tablets, every one
when will we ever learn
there will be no return

where have all the tablets gone
long time passing
where have all the smart phones gone
long time ago
where have all these gadgets gone
been recycled every one
never they will return
never they will return

where have all the users gone
long time passing
where have all the texters gone
long time ago
there lie all the facebooks slain
people try to speak again
when will we ever learn
hope they again can learn

 

Obviously trying to do a half-serious, twitter-age version of Peter Seeger’s “Where have all the flowers gone?” (My favorite rendering is by Peter, Paul, and Mary)

Raoul Eisele

Raoul Eisele

out, out brief candle!

das leben kriecht
schwerfällig
schritt für schritt für schritt
von tag zu tag
zur letzten stunde
schleicht schattengleich
im kerzenschein
in rauchschwaden
ausgelöschter flammen
eines jungen herzens
im narrengewand des gestern
zur unbarmherzigen ewigkeit
des angebrochenen morgen
zum morgen
zum morgen
und wieder morgen
einer endlosen wiederholung
kriechend zum unbedeutenden
idioten
dessen stimme unvernommen
im widerhall
verstummt

 

Name: Raoul Eisele; BA BA
Geburtsort/-Jahr:  1991 in Eisenstadt – lebend in Wien Hernals
Studium: Germanistik BA und Komparatistik BA (abgeschlossen) aktuell Germanistik MA
Veröffentlichungen: why nICHt? Magazin 1-4 (Literaturmagazin der Komparatistik Universität Wien), SYN Nr. 12, Bücherstadt Kurier Nr. 21, mosaik freiVers 14.8.16, silbende Kunst Nr. 14., Fixpoetry, mosaik freiText 11.11.16, Bücherstadt Kurier, Inskriptionen (neue Literatur abseits vom Mainstream);
Textgattungen: Gedichte/Kurzgeschichten

Bill Cotter

Bill Cotter

Two Poems

COMING UPON

Incautious, still, and breaking the peace
Of the lake, I hear the swan’s unease
And sense, in its startled trumpetings,
Time is measured in the beating of wings.

Across the brown veined beds of reeds
Now rippling and dropping their silver beads,
There comes the sound of whisperings,
“Time is measured in the beating of wings.”

Coerced from shadows into light
And tense with the need to take to flight,
She knows, caught in the water’s transient rings,
Time is measured in the beating of wings

And, so, on the heard puffs of air,
She rises, high and higher, where,
Expanding and blue, the sky sings,
“Time is measured in the beating of wings.”

ECHO

from Bird Song

I cannot replicate the sweetness of those notes
I heard at dawn; the player’s joy
Is his alone. But, yet, in hearing, floats
A raft of memories to buoy,
Persist, but never cloy
And so, on the fading edge of dusk and thought
There remains an echo of a song and the joy it brought.

blume (michael johann bauer)

blume (michael johann bauer)

im netz

vergangenheit wie kau-gum-
-mi-t-epi-lepsie
alles zieht sich zuckend
zum anfang zurueck:

schlafzimmer meiner eltern
hier grub acht=bein tabu
fieb’r’xtrem’taet
unb’rech’nbar
drang’n nacht=schreie laermend
bis ran an mein bett
mir war so schweisz=angst
bang zerkaut‘ ich ’s gehirn
& die anderen tuer’n
fuehrt’n kalt=bloesz mich nackt
tief’rer & tief’rer
tief’rer et cetera
in den harm=schwamm=
& schlamm=
=par’lyse=’rinth=wahn

bitte!
bitte hilfe!
das licht geht nicht an!

meine finger so klamm!
ganz gelaehmt lieg‘ ich da
& warte noch d’rauf
dass die spinne
mich frasz

2016_11_chimäre_von blume (michael johann bauer)

fährten folgen, auf begegnungen

manche starben und gaben/all das, was sie besaszen/und ihr handeln hinterliesz spuren/in des handelns spuren/doch dann kamen andere/und die anderen vergaszen/schon woher sie kamen/und ihre spuren mischten/sich unter die spuren anderer/denn als manche worte nahmen/wo ihre wurzeln lagen/hinterliesz ihr handeln/deutlich ihre spuren/und ihre spuren waren wurzeln/anderer gedanken/von anderen anders/wie anderswo/gedacht//

 

blume (michael johann bauer), *29.06.1979 in schrobenhausen; ich lebe in durlach/karlsruhe. habe forstwirtschaft in weihenstephan, freising, studiert und arbeite zurzeit sehr gluecklich in einem kindergarten mit waldpaedagogischem schwerpunkt. poesie, indes, ist mein leben, meine grosze liebe: dies zieht sich stringent durch meinen all=tag.
veroeffentlichungen 
in: novelle, syrinx, dichtungsring, phantastisch!, johnny, keine! delikatessen etc.
 dazu eine autorenausgabe des dosierten lebens mit meinen texten.