Cosmic Connections

Past or present, literature helps forge our future paths. “Cosmic Connections” – Asymptote’s Spring 2019 edition – traces the work of writers and translators from 27 countries and in 17 languages. This quarter’s special feature spotlights the art of translation. From interviews with Viet Thanh Nguyen and Dubravka Ugrešić to poetry by Gertrud Kolmar and Raymond Queneau. Cooler than black holes. Check this whole galaxy of creative reflections here:

Thanks to Massy Books & all the attendees for a beautiful book launch!

Thank you all for attending our group book launch at Massy Books in Vancouver.
It was a delightful evening, the bookstore was packed, as this kind of places should be all the time.
I am glad that this was also the occasion for many of us to discover “Massy Books,” a book-lover secret corner (100% First-Nation owned) and a refuge for the soul in the East End. Thanks to Patricia Massy for hosting us!

I attach some pics, including the one of Dr Cecil Hershler reading from my bok “The Afrikaner” with his beautiful South African accented voice, and of me with authors Michael Springate and Ian Thomas Shaw.

I wish you all a pleasant reading time!


Somewhere inside the rainbow

“Art must be cathartic, original and memorable,” writer-cum-critic Alan Twigg writes in his engaging review of The Afrikaner. I heartily thank Alan for his words of appreciation and the thought-provoking reflections on the writer’s freedom to cross cultural, ethnic and racial boundaries. I hope his concluding remarks will bring good luck to the book now that it is out there, in the big world of letters and readers: “North Americans have gleaned a deeper awareness of South Africa through Alan Paton’s Cry the Beloved Country, Sir Laurens Jan van der Post, Nadine Gordimer and J.M. Coetzee. We’ve also seen Invictus or A Dry White Season or Richard Attenborough’s Cry Freedom about Stephen Biko, the man that Nelson Mandela described as “the spark that lit a veld fire across South Africa. The Afrikaner deserves its place in that pantheon.”

Read the whole review here:

A Cargo full of Literature

I have just discovered “Cargo Literary,” a Canadian online literary magazine that publishes transformational travel experience.
Here is their “vision”: “We publish creative nonfiction, memoir, personal essay, poetry, book reviews, and visual art including photography —submissions that evoke a strong sense of character, setting, movement, and the internal journey […] Traveling invites us to shift our perspectives and asks us to draw upon the unfamiliar. Traveling seeks intention, requires communication.

Let’s read together their latest issue here:

You want to write? Get out there and live!

I loved this bit of JD DeHart’s interview with American writer and poet PW Covington. It’s the same advice I’d give to any (young, not so young) writer (except the drugs thing, which to me is just a pose – le poète maudit kind of thing). So the question was: “What advice do you have for young writers? And here came the answer: “Do young writers listen to advice? Do any writers?
My only advice is GET OUT THERE, and LIVE!

The Motor Hotels of Central Avenue: A Collection of Poetry by [Covington, PW]

You can apply talent to experience, and you can take years or decades to do it…don’t be in a hurry to scrawl or spit. Just let living be enough, follow no rules, laws, or discipline except those you freely choose. Make mistakes… big ones. Fuck safety, eschew comfort. Go to the places that scare you, live among people you have been conditioned to see as “enemies.” Suffer. Earn scars. Take lovers, do drugs, build things with your hands, go to sea, climb a mountain, learn to live with less. Avoid “advice.”
At some point, if you’ve been touched, warped, or led in the right way, you’ll sit down one day and pick up a pen. If that never happens, then, no worries, at least you’ve been out there doing the things. Failure isn’t just an option, it’s an opportunity. Learn to fail.
To write, to tell a story, you’ve GOT to have a story worth telling. I think we all do, but I also believe that it takes most of us many miles and many years to understand that.”
Ah, and by the way, I also subscribe to the bit re “inspiration = compulsion=border-crossing communication”. The question was: “What inspires you to write?” PW Covington’s answer: “Inspiration is a strange word. Some claim that if you “wait to be inspired” you’ll end up not writing at all. I feel like, I’ve always been driven more by compulsion than inspiration. Writing is how I dance with my demons and serenade my angels. see writing…all artistic creation, really, but, especially writing, as a way for my ideas and experiences to spread beyond my personal, lived, experience.
Every word we write, when it is read by another human being, can build a bridge…across distance, across social divides, across time itself. Writing is a very intimate way to communicate. We each can’t go everywhere and do everything, but, we CAN share our insights and observations through the written word, as we appreciate those of others when we read.”
Full interview here