Voices: Gabrielle Bates

The second “Voices” interviewee is Gabrielle Bates, whom I met through Hugo House in Seattle. She is involved in poetry in multiple ways: As a writer, an editor, and a book seller. Read one of her visual poems at Poetry Magazine and find out more about her on her website. Voices: Gabrielle Bates weiterlesen

Voices: Nicola Hodges

This blog would not be complete without acknowledging the artists who provided me with help and inspiration on my journey. The series “Voices” is meant to put their art and perception of their surroundings center stage. The first interviewee is Nicola Hodges, textile craftsperson and aspiring park ranger in Vancouver. Voices: Nicola Hodges weiterlesen

Searching for Stories in Southern Mexico

I’m lying on my bed in an airconditioned hostel room in Cancún with a half-read copy of the Popol Vuh next to me. I picked up the book detailing the Maya-Quiché creation myth and cosmology from a box of free stuff at a party in September 2015, at the time the idea of a journey through Canada, the US, and Mexico started forming in my mind. It’s the last day of said journey, I’m tired from traveling and exhausted from reading in Spanish. And I’m frustrated: During my entire time in the states of Chiapas and Quintana Roo, I didn’t manage to find out anything about contemporary literature rooted in Maya culture. Searching for Stories in Southern Mexico weiterlesen

Book Culture in Oaxaca de Juárez

Oaxaca, Mexico’s fifth biggest state, is located in the southeast of the country. It is not only known for its size, but also for its ethnic diversity: More than 50 % of the population identify as indigenous. Fifteen distinct groups, the largest of whom are Zapotec and Mixtec, are recognized by the Mexican government, but many more exist without official acknowledgement. Book Culture in Oaxaca de Juárez weiterlesen

Literary Landmarks in Ciudad de México

Long strolls through Parque Chapultepec and vegan lunch at the cafeteria of a Hare Krishna temple – the memories of my first visit to Ciudad de México in 2014 make the city seem relaxed and peaceful. Upon my return, the impression is different. With 9 million inhabitants in the center and 20.4 million inhabitants in the greater urban area, Ciudad de México is the most populous city in North America. It takes the bus almost three hours to get from the first signs of sprawl to Terminal Central del Norte. But not just the size of the city, the language, too, poses more problems than expected. Without a travel companion fluent in Spanish, even simple, everyday things are difficult and exhausting. Nevertheless, the kindness of friends and fellow writers makes my stay worthwhile. Literary Landmarks in Ciudad de México weiterlesen

Valeria Luiselli: The Story of my Teeth

Gustavo Sánchez Sánchez, also known as Highway, is not only the self-proclaimed best auctioneer in the world, but also the proud owner of a large collection of exquisite memorabilia. Each piece has a story that gives it inestimable value. The most important item never leaves his body – Marilyn Monroe’s teeth adorn his mouth instead of his own. Valeria Luiselli: The Story of my Teeth weiterlesen

Tijuana: Not pretty, but fertile

The trolley from San Diego to Tijuana is packed in the middle of the day. We ride through the dry and dusty landscape for about twenty minutes before reaching the pedestrian border crossing. Most passengers walk straight towards border control while I stick around to exchange American dollars for Mexican pesos at a booth. In the hall of the practical grey building, people quickly pass through the processing point for American and Mexican passports. Members of other nationalities take a little longer. After thirty minutes, I step back into daylight in Mexico. Tijuana: Not pretty, but fertile weiterlesen