Susan Bernofsky described recently the “disheartening” numbers, when it comes to the percentage of female authors in translation. Across twenty-five presses evaluated by Women in Translation, only twenty-five percent of books in English translation were by women, and some of Bernofsky’s favorite presses (some of mine, too), like New Directions and Archipelago, were among the worst perpetrators, publishing sixteen percent and thirteen percent female authors, respectively.
“There are often regulations of this sort for mechanical looms, as repeating yardage is an important economical component of the textile industry. But don’t those regulations sound like a writing prompt to you? It certainly did to me. The loom demands particular metrics, which one could also see applying to poetic form. Opportunities for the inter-poetics of writing and weaving have continued to reveal themselves so long as I’ve continued to seek them out.”
Socially, you can be a hermit if you want to; lock yourself up in a room and just write for two years. No one’s probably going to miss you—there are no required events to attend except for the first day meeting. Even student readings are informal and optional. You can finally experiment on growing that beard thick, long, and covered in crumbs.
Meet the poets, essayists, fiction writers, and translators of MQR 54:3.
Last July, in an attempt to spare us from the summer heat, my son and I took refuge inside an estate sale. The house was overrun with strangers, everyone ogling the goods left behind by the home’s previous owners. We, too, did our fair share of ogling—peering into rooms and closets in search of treasures left behind. Eventually, I found them: dozens of vintage postcards from around the world, none of them yet sullied by stamps.