Tag Archives: language


At a recent conference on literary translation, Arline and I sat in a beige hotel ballroom, listening to a panelist make painful, even nonsensical, generalizations about Panamanian literature. When the panel started taking questions, we escaped to the lobby and … Continue reading

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Anguish Time

In the Church of Saint Francis — Igreja de São Francisco — in Porto, Portugal, believers once dropped coins into alms boxes, whispered prayers, and hoped that someone was listening. These painted wooden boxes are now nailed to a wall … Continue reading

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A Sentence

“This, too, is America: two middle-aged women, one North American and one Central American, eating cheese and apples in campsite #4 of the Mountain View Campground on Little Redfish Lake.” I wrote this sentence in a notebook six years ago … Continue reading

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Bill Knott, 1940-2014

What was it about those bad-boy poets that I loved so much at 16? Brautigan, Ferlinghetti. And Bill Knott, whose recent death made me think about him and how our paths crossed, twice. The first time, I was a high … Continue reading

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Singing in English

I never doubted that English belonged to me. Even the most convoluted academic English, studded with the hegemonies, dichotomies, and Foucaultisms of my graduate literary theory seminars, seemed available for my use. I believed that, with practice, I could wield … Continue reading

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Blog Radio

“Película” was the one word I retained from my semester of high school Spanish. A bracelet of a word, consonants dangling from a chain of short vowels. It means “film.” I had taken French from seventh through eleventh grade. Faced … Continue reading

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