Sunday, May 9, 2010

Common Boundary: Stories of Immigration

We are finished proofreading and copy editing Common Boundary: Stories of Immigration (but for some technical details we want to double-check). The next step is finalizing the cover and getting everything to the printer (perhaps in the next few weeks).

We are excited about this book, for many reasons: the rich and enduring theme (how it touches virtually everyone); the extraordinary beauty of the writing – much of it is quite moving; the humor, candor, and insight. The truth of the book is vibrating with color. As you might imagine, language comes up quite often, as does food. These are essential, fundamental stories that really hit home, that really get to some basic, core issues about all of us.

We could go on, but let’s all just wait a little longer until the book is out. One of our readers said that he was “impressed with the quality and variety of the writing.” That is true, but when you read the book through (as we have done many times over the course of the past weeks), the coherence of the sequence is such that we all have made more than an anthology – this is a real, solid book that has shape, that moves and builds to a conclusion.

We love our writers, and all of them should take pride in their work and their accomplishments. Just to give you a peek, here is the sequence of contributors/contents:

- Fredericka A. Jacks, Preface; - Jason Dubow, Foreword; - Patty Somlo, “How He Made It Across”; - Cassandra Lewis, “Pedro’s Monologue from Migrations”; - George Rabasa, “The Unmasking of El Santo” and “La Santa Papa”; - Rivka Keren, “Islamorada”; - Janice Eidus, “The Color of Cinnamon”; - Mitch Levenberg, “The Plain Brown Envelopes”; - Ruth Sabath Rosenthal, “Into the Light: Safe Haven 1944”; - Rivka Keren, “They Set Sail in Springtime”; - John Guzlowski, “Wooden Trunk from Buchenwald”; - Dagmara J. Kurcz, “Cheekago”; - Rewa Zeinati, “Beginning in the Midwest”; - Roy Jacobstein, “Emigrées,” “Ceremony,” “Passover,” and “Beyond the Gauze Curtain”; - Ruth Knafo Setton, “Living Between Question Marks” and “My Father Eats Figs”; - Eva Konstantopoulos, “Fig”; - Nahid Rachlin, “What We Call Home”; - M. Neelika Jayawardane, “Pass”; - Omer Hadžiselimović, “An Immigrant’s Deal: Two Lives for the Price of One”; - Muriel Nelson, “Exodus,” “The Widow Kramer,” “Emotional,” “Uneasy Space,” and from Pieces; - Azarin A. Sadegh, “Being a Foreigner”; - Tim Nees, “Blue Painted Field.”

Back to work . . . and nearing completion . . .

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Report on First Bibliotekos Reading - With Photos

The first Bibliotekos Reading (22 April 2010 at St. Francis College, Brooklyn) was a smashing success! Some of the contributors to the anthology Pain and Memory gathered to read their selections and talk about the process of writing – whether one writes longhand or on computer, the necessity of having a notebook at hand, the demands on one's time and yet the call to write. The open panel session after the reading was quite stimulating. The audience was alive with comments and queries. There were questions about influences and favorite authors (many cited W.B. Yeats); a discussion about the idea of truth – the importance of truth – in remembering and writing accurately; the concern about engaging readers in otherwise morbid subjects; the difficulty of reaching an interested audience who might, simply, not realize their own desire and need to read literary writing. There was ample opportunity to meet with the writers in the theater lobby, both before and after the reading; books were signed and sold; lots of connections and new literary friends were made. We hope to have a similar reading, next year, for Common Boundary: Stories of Immigration (expected June 2010).

The Program ran as follows (not counting some preliminaries by Brother Edward Wesley, Ph.D., chair of the English Department at St. Francis College, Fredericka A. Jacks, publisher, and Gregory F. Tague, Ph.D., general editor):

MITCH LEVENBERG, “Butterflies and Lepers.”

RUTH SABATH ROSENTHAL, “A Good Stiff Breeze,” “I Ate My Mother’s Hair,” “Logan Square East.”

ANNE WHITEHOUSE, “Rose’s Dream,” “After the Accident.”

LYNNE SHAPIRO, “Souvenir,” “Your Dead Mother.”

ANIQUE TAYLOR, “The Strangeness of April 1969.”
~ Here are some photographs (taken during the Q&A session):

~ Mitch Levenberg and Anne Whitehouse

~ Lynne Shapiro

~ Anique Taylor
(and her poodle, Nesha, if you look closely)

~ Ruth Sabath Rosenthal