From the Road

  • The variegated books Biblioteca Amigos Library offers escape and enrichment.
    October 29, 2014 | Marilyse Figueroa
    For more on Santa Fe’s Biblioteca Amigos Library, read Figueroa's outpost featuring this bilingual literary hub in the November 2014 issue of World Literature Today. I have read Fahrenheit 451 enough times to know that libraries are one institution that should never be eliminated from a society. Public libraries are hubs of social work. This environment of free and abundant educ...
  • Andre Naffis-Sahely
    May 8, 2014 | André Naffis-Sahely
    I land in Los Angeles and meet up with Mandy Kahn and David Shook, who’ve just returned from a week in Seattle, armed with a box of poetry from AWP. After Mandy drops us off, David and I grab a quick bite at Pho Café in Silver Lake, and at 1 a.m. I set off. There is no direct rail link from LA to Northern California, so I catch three Thruway Connecting Services to Sacramento. We cross the San Jo...
  • December 18, 2013 | K. Anis Ahmed
    From left: K. Anis Ahmed, Eliot Weinberger, and Pankaj Mishra at the Hay Festival Dhaka, November 14, 2013. A foreignness defined only by place of production or setting is rather banal. World Literature should be defined by foreignness of form. A true expansion of form will make room for that infinitude of human experience that has been left out of literature.  For th...
  • Dhaka Taxis
    November 18, 2013 | David Shook
    Dhaka Taxis. Photo by v i p e z/Flickr I’m in Dhaka, Bangladesh, for just the second time, almost exactly one year after my first visit, but things are eerily different. The drive from Dhaka International—which, in contrast, has stubbornly resisted the slightest evolution—is idyllic, which in Dhaka, the world’s most densely populated city, suggests the post-apocalyptic. The main thoroughfare lea...
  • September 25, 2013 | André Naffis-Sahely
    André Naffis-Sahely and Breyten Breytenbach. Photo by Victor Dlamini Part 2 continues with highlights from the “Dancing in Other Words” festival; if you haven’t read part 1 and would like to read the entire essay, click here.  On our way back to Spier for the festival proper, we stopped off at the University of the Western Cape, where Antjie Krog had arranged for the p...
  • Korean poet Ko Un. Photo by Retha Ferguson
    September 23, 2013 | André Naffis-Sahely
    After being invited by Breyten Breytenbach to attend the “Dancing in Other Words” festival in Stellenbosch, South Africa, this past May, André Naffis-Sahely sent us the following travelogue. Part 1 of 2 follows; the entire essay will eventually appear in a single post. A full gallery of photos from the festival can be seen here. Korean poet Ko Un. Photo by Retha Ferguson...
  • August 28, 2013 | Raha Namy
    In 2007 Persian English translator and writer Raha Namy set off on a bicycle ride through Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, coming to a stop at the Occupied Territories of the West Bank (Israel). She and many women from a variety of countries pedaled together; their hope for the trip was to consider a horizon of possibilities for women and for peace in the Middle East. Namy writes of her encounters...
  • May 7, 2013 | Shaun Randol
    In my travels around the global literary scene, the question of a writerly identity has never seemed more precarious, conflicted, and urgent than with writers from Africa. More often than not, it is the writer—not the reader—who is fixated on the question: who or what is an African writer? African writers—that is, writers who happen to be from Africa—seem tormented by this questi...
  • November 19, 2012 | David Shook
    K. Anis Ahmed Last Thursday, the second annual Dhaka Hay Festival opened with a moderated dialogue between Pakistani novelist Mohammed Hanif and the most exciting new Bangladeshi talent writing in English, K. Anis Ahmed, whose first collection of short stories, Good Night, Mr. Kissinger, was published the week before last. Moderated by the Telegraph’s Sameer Rahim, the two writ...
  • November 16, 2012 | David Shook
    Last week Tijuana celebrated the tenth annual Festival de Literatura del Noroeste (FeLiNo), which began on 7 November, at its Cultural Center. The center itself is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary as perhaps Tijuana’s most iconic clump of buildings, including La Bola, the enormous concrete sphere that houses an IMAX theater, and El Cubo, its even less creatively named sister. Literary manage...
  • September 12, 2012 | Michelle Johnson
    From the Clinton Library, a view of a bridge crossing the Arkansas River. Every two years a group of outstanding international writers gathers for the International Conference on the Short Story in English (http://www.shortstoryconference.com/). Though cities in Spain, Portugal, and Ireland have served as venues, New Orleans and Iowa City have also hosted the event. This year, writers and schola...
  • September 5, 2012 | Merleyn Bell
    It’s not every day I get to meet the photographers whose portraits provide a glimpse into the lives of the authors we feature in WLT. So when I heard about the evolving exhibit of author portraits on display at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, I jumped at the chance to meet with the exhibit’s creator and curator, Chris Close. Close has worked as a freelance photographer for the...
  • August 22, 2012 | Michelle Johnson
    He decided to make a selection that would be as arbitrary as it was brilliant. . . . Very quickly the idea of selling books that he himself would not advise people to read infuriated him. . . . All that remained in his little shop were those books which enchanted him. —  A Novel Bookstore, Laurence Cossé, translated from the French by Alison Anderson Edinburgh is a city of indep...
  • July 23, 2012 | Eliza Robertson
    Photos: Eliza Robertson When my dad and I decided to spend two weeks traveling in northern Mongolia, it was not for literary reasons. We brought books, as we always did while traveling—probably more than was reasonable for ten days to be spent in tents and on horseback—and I carried an unlined leather journal (which was left woefully blank once the Mongolian sun startled me to life). But the inte...
  • July 18, 2012 | Eric Bosse
    Photos from Ó Bhéal, Cork City’s six-years-old-and-still-going-strong weekly poetry reading. Ó Bhéal / Paul Casey An American fiction writer faces a crisis of self-doubt upon finding the poetry open mic of his literary-tourism dreams in Cork, Ireland. I stepped out of the drizzle into the buttery light of the Long Valley Bar on Winthrop Street in Cork City, Ireland. Th...