Friday, October 17, 2008

One of our Favorite Poets: Mercedes Roffe Reading this Thursday!

McNally Jackson Bookstore


Thursday, October 23 2008, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

at McNALLY JACKSON Bookstore

52 Prince St.
(b/t Lafayette & Mulberry)
New York, NY 10012

E. TRACY GRINNELL is the author of Some Clear Souvenir (O Books 2006) and Music or Forgetting (O Books 2001), as well as the limited edition chapbooks Quadriga, a collaboration with Paul Foster Johnson (gong chapbooks, 2006), Of the Frame (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2004), and Harmonics (Melodeon Poetry Systems, 2000). The chapbooks Leukadia (Trafficker Press), Humoresque (Dusie Press), and Helen (Belladonna) are all forthcoming this fall. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she teaches writing and edits Litmus Press and Aufgabe, an annual journal of poetry and translations.

Argentine poet MERCEDES ROFFÉ is the author of several poetry collections –the most recent of them, Las linternas flotantes (The Floating Lanterns), forthcoming in Buenos Aires in 2009. Among other distinctions, she was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry (2001).
In 1998 she founded Ediciones Pen Press, a New York based small press devoted to the publication of contemporary poetry. Her work has been translated into French (Définitions mayas et autres poèmes, Montréal, 2004), Italian (L’algebra oscura, S. Marco in Lamis, 2004), and Romanian (Teoria culorilor, Bucharest, 2006). In English translation, she has published the chapbook Theory of Colors (Belladonna, 2005), and the book-length collection, Like the Rains Come. Selected Poems (Shearsman Books, 2008). MARGARET CARSON will be reading her recent translations from Roffé’s Ghost Opera (2006).

MATVEI YANKELEVICH is a founding editor of Ugly Duckling Presse, where he designs books, co-edits 6x6, and edits thPe Eastern European Poets Series.

Matvei edited and translated Today I Wrote Nothing:The selected writings of daniil kharms (Overlook, 2007). He is a co-translator of Oberiu: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism (Northwestern, 2006). His translation of Vladimir Mayakovsky's poem "A Cloud in Pants" is included in Night Wraps the Sky: Writings by and about Mayakovsky (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2008).

He is the author of a long poem, The Present Work (Palm Press, 2006). His writing has appeared in various small and tiny literary journals and on-line publications. From 1999-2001 he co-edited The Emergency Gazette of theater matters, with Yelena Gluzman. His essays on Russian-American poets appear in Octopus Magazine (on-line). Matvei teaches Russian Literature at Hunter College in NYC.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Born Palestinian, Born Black

(Suheir Hammad at PEN American Center)

UpSet Press is proud to be re-releasing Suheir Hammad's first book of poetry: Born Black, Born Palestinian in Spring 2009. UpSet Press and Suheir Hammad's relationship has a long long history. It began with Zohra tugging at her skirt while she was on a platform rallying a student protest when both were in college. Suheir was part of SLAM at Hunter College. The friendship has continued through the years, through letters, through emails, and through teaching her work. UpSet Press wants to share her latest project: Salt of the Sea, a film by Annemarie Jacir.

(L-R: Danny Glover, Annemarie Jacir, Saleh Bakri, and Suheir Hammad)


A woman confronts the realities of life in the occupied Palestinian territories in this drama. While she was born and raised in New York, Soraya (Suheir Hammad) is of Palestinian heritage and has long dreamed of returning to the land of her ancestors. When Soraya learns that her grandfather bequeathed her a bit more than $15,000 he left in a bank account in Ramallah, she decides it's time to make a pilgrimage, especially since the inheritance can pay for a long stay in the country. However, Soraya arrives in Israel to find that immigration personnel and border guards are not helpful to tourists of Palestinian blood, and it takes no small amount of determination before she arrives in Ramallah. There, Soraya meets Emad (Saleh Bakri), a handsome Palestinian student who has a scholarship waiting for him at a university in Canada, but Israeli immigration authorities refuse to grant him a visa. Soraya and Emad bond over their frustrations at the injustice they see around them, and when she learns that the money in her grandfather's account (and all other Palestinian accounts at the bank) was forfeited after the establishment of the nation of Israel, they decide to take action. Soraya, Emad and his friend Marwan (Riyad Ideis) plan to stage a bank robbery, in which they'll take only the amount deposited by her grandfather as a protest against the discriminatory policies that have become a part of daily life under occupation. Milh Hadha Al-Bahr (aka Salt Of This Sea) was the first feature film from writer and director Annemarie Jacir. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide