Thursday, July 28, 2016

POETICS AND VISUALITY: A Trajectory of Contemporary Brazilian Poetry

An in-depth study by Philadelpho Menezes, professor of Semiotics and Communication at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo, on the evolvement of experimental poetry in Brazil is a worthy read for poetry lovers. Take advantage of the fact that it has been translated into English by Harry Polkinhorn, currently an editor for SDSU Press, and order a copy today

POETICS AND VISUALITY: A TRAJECTORY OF CONTEMPORARY BRAZILIAN POETRY is a survey how visuality was incorporated into and formed experimental Brazilian poetry throughout the course of 40 years from an insider's understanding. Part I examines the spatialization of the verse and the concretism that followed in the 1950s. He takes readers through a close look at three versions of concretism: Noigandres, Dias-Pino, and neo-concretism. 

"ruasol" by Ronaldo Azeredo, 1957
Concretism was an attempt to break away from a tradition of verbal expression to begin exploring communication that tapped more into the verbal senses. The differences between the versions of concretism were mostly based on how they perceived space in a poem. In the Noigandres vein, words were arranged geometrically and there was no linear syntax. Dias-Pino concretism prioritized symmetry and mathematics, and neo-concretism was a fusion of the previous two that created an active experience for spectators that was meant to go beyond contemplation and that formed meaning based on the spectator instead of the signs and their positioning according to the poet's taste.


The following sections of POETICS AND VISUALITY look at subsequent movements that expanded the ideas of concretism. Part II is a study of the wordless poetry of the 1960s, and Part III is one on visual poetry. Menezes classifies visual poetry as collage poetry, package poetry, and montage poetry. The creation of such poetry during Brazil's repressive military dictatorship that lasted from 1964 to 1985 was an additional factor that influenced the development of the country's experimental poetry. The social function of art as a critique of the status quo came through in a movement that in itself was inherently a statement against conventional modes of expression. 
"Sick transit" by José Paulo Paes, 1973

Particularly in the last sections of the book, Menezes provides examples of poems that fit into his analysis and he goes into detail about the construction, meaning, and tradition from which each poem stems. POETICS AND VISUALITY, another goodie from SDSU Press, has the perfect combination of direct examples, theory, and chronological organization that can lead readers to appreciate experimental poetry in Brazil and its impact on the international poetry scene. 







Tuesday, July 26, 2016

DEAD SEA SCROLLS: SDSU Press' Collaboration in the World's largest and Most Comprehensive Exhibition of the Dead Sea Scrolls

San Diego State University Press is proud of having collaborated with the San Diego Natural History Museum to produce a catalogue that complemented the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition in 2007. The Dead Sea Scrolls are 2,000-year-old texts that were found by Bedouin goat-herders in Israel, on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea. In the mid 20th century, archaeologists also began digging out the ancient texts that had been left untouched in caves for many centuries. The region in which they were found, today known as Khirbet Qumran, once existed under Greco-Roman rule and was known as Judaea. The community that wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls are widely believed to have been a group that separated from more mainstream Judaism. While they did not ultimately survive under Roman rule, it is apparent that several of the ideas demonstrated in the texts have indeed survived. They were written at a time when Christianity and Judaism as we know them were in the beginning stages of their development, and the influence that they have had on the foundations of Western society can be appreciated thanks to the close research of dedicated scholars. If you missed the 2007 Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition there is no need to worry, because SDSU Press still has an informative and visually beautiful volume in store for you. 


DEAD SEA SCROLLS is laid out in such a way that allows readers to see the actual scrolls that researchers have deciphered. The categories of text that lead you through the different scripts allow one to understand their physical condition, the interpretation that has been reached on their meaning, and the content of their words via translated lines. The images of the scrolls themselves are stunning, and thanks to pointers such as the "Look at the scroll" category that explains the physical appearance and the structure of the writing in the excerpts, one can get closer to the experience of researchers themselves. It becomes all the more easy to appreciate the work that has been done on these significant archaeological finds when you see how the passage of time has worn down many of the texts written over animal skin and how this has not been enough to erase their meaning. Links of the present to the past have not been severed, but strengthened as we see how the ideas of ancient communities have formed the modern era that we are part of. 

Visit our Amazon store to get your hands on your copy of DEAD SEA SCROLLS! The three sections of the volume will give you access to scrolls from the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, and codexes from the National Library of Russia in St.Petersburg. 













Friday, July 22, 2016

STRANGELY EVER AFTER: pacificREVIEW, A West Coast Arts Review Annual


Looking for a read that will take you back to your childhood days of listening to fairy tales and reading fantasy series on long summer days? In SDSU Press fashion, Strangely Ever After, the 2014 pacificReview journal, puts forth a selection of short stories and poems that play with more traditional forms of fairy tales, ghost stories, and everything in between. Think Franz Kafka, Edgar Allen Poe, and the Little Red Riding Hood all in one big melting pot of poetry, photography, and fiction. 

The authors featured in the journal write literature that twists the fantasy genre with elements like humorous undertones, questionable morals, and the denial of a happily ever after. Among the creatures and characters that you will encounter in the 2014 edition of pacificReview are victims that transform into the monsters that victimized them, malevolent spirits thirsty for revenge, frustrated demons, strangers who bond over their attraction to the unappealing, deceptive faeries, and clueless teenagers. 

Contributing artists include Jamie Klenk, Gale Acuff, Diane de Anda, Jane Beal, Lisa Beebe, A.J. Benenati, and Chrystal Berche, among other talented writers and photographers. Strangely Ever After is edited by Jacquelyn Phillips, Samantha Richardson, Shannon Snyder, Melissa Hill, and Dakota Lenz. 

















Once you get your copy of Strangely Ever After sit back, listen to a mood setting lullaby by The Cure, and enjoy the strange and thrilling ride. 





You can also look forward to our upcoming 2016 publication of pacificReview, an annual SDSU Press journal. This year's theme, LURKING ANONYMITY, will gather interpretations of our relation to technology in terms of reliance and behavior and what it indicates about our humanity. 







Thursday, July 21, 2016

Line of Fire: Detective Stories from the Mexican Border

The compilation of detective stories from SDSU Press’ Baja California Literature in Translation publication series, Line of Fire: Detective Stories from the Mexican Border, features non-orthodox takes on a genre that has been popular in the Latin American literary tradition. Names like Jorge Luis Borges and Roberto Bolaño have been celebrated as important figures that have paved the way for the detective novel, and as the genre continues to develop, SDSU Press has captured short detective stories taking place in Baja California and its surrounding areas. The stories that form part of Line of Fire were originally published in Spanish in En la línea de fuego: Relatos policiacos de frontera and are written by Gabriel Trujillo Muñoz, Héctor Daniel Gómez Nieves, Leobardo Saravia Quiroz, Edgar Gómez Castellanos, José Manuel Di Bella, Carlos Martín Gutiérrez , Federico Campbell, Harry Polkinhorn, and Sergio Gómez Montero.


The English version of these stories, published by SDSU Press and edited by Leobardo Saravia Quiroz, whose own story is also included in the book, has opened the door of accessibility to a greater audience. Saravia Quiroz comments on the divergence from more conventional forms of the detective story that is clear in Line of Fire, “An indifference towards reason and justice prevails: the entirely modern ‘banality of evil.’ This is one difference from the conventions of the genre.” With the introduction setting the way and the “banality of evil” present in the stories that follow, the reading experience of Line of Fire will have you stepping into worlds of confusion, mystery, and unsolved endings set in the border regions of the US and Mexico. Filled with thoughts and images of paranoia, longing, belonging, betrayal, sounds of music and of bullets, you are bound to become immersed in the Mexican borders portrayed in each story that forms Line of Fire.





Order your copy today! Click here to be directed to our amazon store.







Thursday, July 14, 2016

THOMAS PAINE: COMMON SENSE FOR THE MODERN ERA


In 2005 a conference titled Thomas Paine: Common Sense for the Modern Era was held at San Diego State University in what was part of an effort to begin a series of tributes to great thinkers of the early stages of America. Among these intellectuals that worked against the current and defended the ideals that theoretically define the United States as a nation today is the often underrepresented Englishman who moved to America in 1774 and quickly began advocating for independence. In 2007, a volume was published by SDSU Press that went by the same name as the conference and captured the presentations and panels that discussed Thomas Paine’s ideas, life, and legacy.

In contrast to other venerated figures of the American Revolution like John Adams, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Paine believed in an American independence that would function atop newly established pillars of society. He did not simply want America to move away from British rule, but instead wanted to diverge from a British mentality of what civilization was supposed to be. Paine’s experience with British style rule both in England and in America was one in which he had extensive exposure to the deprivation of the masses through state brutality that led to poverty and heavy handed punishment that served to keep the elite in their privileged state. In his hometown of Thetford, Paine grew up watching civilians being executed in the gallows for petty crimes spurred by need rather than malice such as stealing bread. In America, inadequate representation of the majority’s interests and elitism were also present, but there was room for renewal through independence.





In 1776 Paine’s pamphlet, Common Sense, resonated strongly with the sentiments of many who lived in the British colonies.

"Common sense is the understanding that it is the people who have to have sovereignty. Thus, Paine wanted to rid America not just of British soldiers, but of the entire British system. It was a system of imperialism, of colonialism, of tyranny and slavery. He wanted to start anew, with a new system based on justice and rights, equality and reason. Give power to the people, and establish a government that ensures the adequacy of people to be what they can be. Do not merely give people rights; give them the idea of using those rights” (McCartin,71)."

Paine has been undermined in comparison to other founding fathers for a number of reasons including, as Susan Jacoby argues in her presentation, the fact that he is often portrayed as an atheist for his distrust of institutionalized religion, even though he was actually a deist. Order your copy of Thomas Paine: Common Sense for the Modern Era here and join the discussion on Thomas Paine! Break the habit of under appreciating this revolutionary thinker whose ideas and legacy are still pertinent today.   

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

THE FLESH-AND-BLOOD AESTHETICS OF ALEJANDRO MORALES: DISEASE, SEX, AND FIGURATION: A Guide by Marc García-Martínez to the Layers of Meanings in Moralesian Tales of Flesh and Blood

Dr. Marc García-Martínez provides a detailed look at how Chicano writer Alejandro Morales incorporates intense imagery into his works. The Flesh-And-Blood Aesthetics of Alejandro Morales: Sex, Disease, and Figuration examines how the treatment of character’s bodies through the use of powerful literary tools functions to comment on the core of human nature and the society shaped by it. Vivid descriptions of sexual behavior and acts, of disease and bodily decomposition, and of death are characteristic of Morales’ striking style.
A seemingly contradictory dynamic of a discomfort that does not repudiate but rather encourages an interest in reading further into Morales' shocking imagery exists, and it defines a reading experience that parallels the very themes that are presented in works like The Rag Doll Plagues and The Brick People. Uncomfortable meanings begin to emerge through uncomfortable mediums and makes the realities that Morales sees more decipherable.

García-Martínez leads readers through the implications embedded within the the imagery that he chooses to refer to as “biomass” due to its connection to bodily functions, organic matter, and violence, “Of central concern is the way such organic instances function characteristically, the manner that they are organized by the author into systems of subtle and obvious representation, and the method by which they are produced and disseminated throughout the novels” (16). The Flesh-And-Blood Aesthetics of Alejandro Morales is well worth checking out because it approaches a scholarly investigation on the literature of Alejandro Morales holistically. While recognizing the importance of a voice speaking outside the white American pool and the influence of that standpoint on the meanings and ideological positions of Morales’works, García-Martínez’ text is an exceptional one due to the fact that it also acknowledges the universal nature of Morales’ literature. It does not limit Alejandro Morales by only identifying him as an ethnic writer but instead takes that identity and uses it to look into the universal significance of the images found within the flesh and blood elements of his writing.


The Flesh-and-Blood Aesthetics of Alejandro Morales, a detailed and groundbreaking interpretation of the literature of Alejandro Morales, can be found here. Get your copy today!












Tuesday, June 28, 2016

UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility + The Utopian Vision: Seven Essays on the Quincentennial of Sir Thomas Moore

In an exploration of the human imagination and society, Thomas More’s Utopia allowed for a world that embodies a perfect and ideal society. Now, 500 years later, the British Library is celebrating the anniversary of the innovative novel through “A Year of Imagination and Possibility” at Somerset House in London through fashion, literature, theater, and other forms of art. 

The concept of a utopian society has been explored by many and can be seen through different theories and perspectives. E.D.S. Sullivan compiled more than 500 works on utopia in The Utopian Vision, a collection of contemporary literature that can be read and understood by anyone who seeks to explore utopian ideals.


A calendar of The Year of Imagination is available at the Somerset House

EL PUNTO CIEGO, Visual Poetry from Argentina

Alberto Hidalgo. Jaqueca, 1923
EL PUNTO CIEGO / THE BLIND SPOT—Argentina's visual poetry revealed. 


EL PUNTO CIEGO is a collection of poems from Argentina covering poets and artists  from the 1920s to present. These are not just poems written in Spanish—they are visual poems.  They transcend language and the restrictions of textual poetry.  You don’t need to know Spanish to appreciate this book.  Poetry is no longer restricted by language. 







Oliverio Girondo. Espantapárajos, 1932

EL PUNTO CIEGO has some of the most important Argentinian poets and artists of the last century while covering various genres.  This anthology contains both styles of poetry: textual and visual. It is a beautiful collection of visual poetry from Argentina that has been in the the blind spot of the eye. The poets and artists are breaking barriers of communication. Their work can reach people of all languages. Because visual poetry breaks the langauge barrier, it is important to put the work from these artists in the forefront of art and literature. 













EL PUNTO CIEGO includes work from Alberto Hidalgo, Oliverio Girondo, Xul Solar, Carmelo Arden Quin, Alejandro Sirio, Alberto Greco, León Ferrari and Mirtha Dermisache, Edgardo ANtonio Vigo, Luis Pazos and Juan Carlos Romero, Marie Orensanz, Susana Fernández Sachaos, Ivana Martinez Vollaro, Luis Felipe Noé, plus many more.

Susana Fernández Sachaos. Escrito en el Cuerpo, 2007






There are two editions to this Anthology of visual poetry.



AND THE REGULAR EDITION.




Friday, June 10, 2016

ENRIQUE MORONES "BORDER ANGELS: THE POWER OF ONE" AND FUTURE EVENTS FROM BORDER ANGELS

Enrique Morones once embarked on the same journey across the border into the United States that thousands of migrants cross every year. "The Migrant Trail" or the most traveled trail for migrants coming from Mexico leads into Arizona through a long and grueling trek through the desert. In Border Angels: The Power of One, Morones writes about his experience on the trail in 2008, and although he calls it an "activity that has strengthened me and many others," it is a difficult and dangerous journey to embark on. Morones and his fellow activists quickly realized that survival on the trail needed strategy. They had 12 hour days that required a good pace and accurate timing, and in the end, some needed medical attention to be hospitalized. Now, eight years later, Border Angels activists continue to embark on the same trail, this time to drop gallons of waters for the immigrants who will attempt to cross the border every day.


There will be another water drop on Saturday, June 18th, with over 100 members already participating. To participate, please RSVP by emailing volunteer@borderangels.org.

There will also be a dinner coming up this November to grant thanks and appreciation to the activists, sponsors, and successes of Border Angels. As Morones documented in Border Angels: The Power of One, Border Angels has worked to advocate for social justice in the lives of travelers and undocumented workers. Morones has battled against politicians, traveled across the nation, and helped the poor wherever he could find them. His organization has been an inspiration to people such as Dave Rivas, a San Diegan actor, voice-over actor, director and playwright who will be performing at the Border Angels dinner this November.                                                                                                           In order to attend and participate in any Border Angels upcoming events or to become a "guardian angel" and donate to the inspirational organization, contact Enrique Morones at enrique@borderangels.org or visit their website.








Thursday, June 09, 2016

Mourning Dove's Short Stories


 
 “This volume is a product Morning Dove’s intense interest in her people’s past.”


Considered to be the first Native American woman novelist, Mourning Dove represents the Okanagan people of the Pacific Northwest thorough the folklore found in her short stories. These stories reveal the history of the Okanagan and the early life of Mourning Dove. As an intense listener, she absorbed these stories and memorized them. The stories found in this book provide insight into a culture from the Pacific Northwest that is rarely mentioned. This book serves a cultural and historical piece for the Okanagan people and Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest.






“These stories are rich in culture, wisdom and meaning.”


Like always, the SDSU Press never fails to represent the people that are almost forgotten and lost. Tap into some of the earliest American literature with this wonderful collection. 









This book can be purchased here







Wednesday, June 01, 2016

POETRY INTERNATIONAL SPRING CHAPBOOK SERIES



Poetry International is one of the oldest and most respected literary journals in the world with notable contributors such as Adrienne Rich, Amir Saadi Yousseff, and Carolyn Forche. Their poetry spans across nations from Mexico to Chile to Cuba to broadcast poetics from around the world.

Their latest Ibooks for their Spring editions of the Poetry International Chapbook Series have been released and are linked below through PDF and epub format:

Illusions of the Modern Era                                                               Recombinant





















In addition to the annual journal, Poetry International also hosts two poetry contests: The Poetry International Prize and The C.P. Cavafy Poetry Prize that welcome poetic submissions for potential publication.

Their archive and subscription options can be accessed through the Poetry International Store



                                                                                                                                   

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Baja California Indian Community


William D. Hohenthal, Jr.’s Tipai Ethnographic Notes is a wonderful text on the native people of San Diego County and Baja California.  It dives into and explores every aspect of the Tipai history and culture. Hohenthal has laid the foundation for the research of the almost forgotten Tipai. Considering that this part of California's history was almost forgotten, this book is incredibly valuable for the appreciation and understanding of the Tipai.


Since this text is fantastic collection of ethnographic notes on the Tipai, it serves as an excellent scholarly source for research. The notes are organized into beautifully researched sections: natural environment, settlements, substance, social life, law and government, etc. If you're interested in San Diego’s ancient past or you need an excellent source for research, this book will quench your thirst for knowledge.












Kristi Phillips' wonderful piece on the growing interest of the Kumeyaay.














There is an ongoing exhibit at the San Diego
 Museum of Man, Kumeyaay: Native Californians












Buy your copy here

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

AND THE WINNER IS...A Modern Day Version of Who's Afraid of Virgnia Woolf: "in this corner...." Short Theatrical Pieces by Rosina Conde, Ignacio Flores De La Lama, Juan Carlos Rea, and Hugo Salcedo

The short plays presented in the book, in this corner...  absorbs the raw world of Mexican dynamics between spouse and spouse. All action occurs within a boxing ring and the book underlies, like uppercuts, what it means to be married in Mexican relationships with comical precision that land more than just punches.

The writers: Rosina Conde, Ignacio Flores de la Lama, Juan Carlos Rea, and Hugo Salcedo - don't throw sucker punches to our characters but to the struggles of both relationship power and miscommunication while exemplifying them in the open space of a physical boxing ring.

The dialogue between our characters in their different stories, supplement what's needed to address martial issues of younger and older generations in an overall dissection of failing relationships complemented by the current socioeconomic disparity among Mexican American's in the southwest.  

A ONE SIDED FIGHT BREAKS OUT:

"SHE (fed up.) About our 33 years?
HE: Yes.
SHE: Haven't you said enough? You're going to far. What is it you want? You're bothering me What're you getting at?"
HE: I…I…don't know.."

Like a modern day version of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, the characters "SHE" constantly belittles and tests the patience of her husband of 33 years "HE." The critically acclaimed play and film manifests marriage mayhem as Taylor attacks and verbally abuses her passive aggressive beau in a seemingly dark and dangerous game. 






Name calling, potential divorce conversations, and other taboo subjects that have been shielded behind bedroom doors are written in an accurate and comical fashion - to help us readers remember that these spouses,  who are our mothers and fathers, were in love at one time or another and in hopes with satire, that their humanity does not become distraught by ceaseless stereotypes.

in this corner…will take the reader into a revised edition of Taylor and Burton's masterpiece as it embarks on a look into Mexican marriages and the humor, the passion, and overall the comedy that can be located in arguments that sometimes can resemble a boxing match. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

FIRST PEOPLE--KUMEYAAY ON KPBS + SDSU Press Books on the Kumeyaay of Southern California and Baja California: Geralyn Hoffman and Lynn Gamble’s A Teacher's Guide to Historical and Contemporary Kumeyaay Culture & William D. Hohenthal, Jr.’s Tipai Ethnographic Notes: A Baja California Indian Community at Mid-Century



"To the beginning of time" takes on a different meaning when referring to San Diego county and Northern Baja, California. In this case, it comes from the first true San Diegans, otherwise known as the Kumeyaay (also known as the Tipai-Ipai, Kamia, or Diegueño). KPBS' Emmy-nominated film First People - Kumeyaay  explores Kumeyaay culture with probing insight into their nation(s), located throughout the county of San Diego and in the north of Baja, California. There has been substantial interest in this native community, whose legacy and cultural identity cannot be neglected when thinking about the people and history that constitute modern San Diego/Baja culture.  Here is a teaser from the new documentary:


SDSU Press has been committed to documenting the myriad complexities of the Kumeyaay and other Native American nations for decades.  Two publications, still in print, and now on sale via our Amazon.com virtual bookstore are particularly salient:

A Teacher's Guide to Historical and Contemporary Kumeyaay Culture (A Supplemental Resource for Third and Fourth Grade Teachers) written by Geralyn Hoffman and Lynn Gamble, invites the reader to become one with the Kumeyaay Nation and delve into their modern culture. Gamble's interest and publications on a wide variety of topics from the Chumash Indians to the origin of the plank canoe allows for an insightful and in depth approach to the Kumeyaay culture.

Additionally, William D. Hohenthal, Jr. takes the reader back into history in Tipai Ethnographic Notes: A Baja California Indian Community at Mid-Century. This dynamic and enlightening book recreates the past through their ancient traditions, ethnographic info, and Tipai accounts of material culture, complete with a map that reveals elusive and dormant trails for the reader to explore.

Monday, March 07, 2016

SDSU PRESS LECTURE CO-SPONSOR!!! VIVIENDO LA HERENCIA DEL CIMARRON: RAZA Y REBELION EN CUBA Living the legacy of the Cimarron: Race and Rebellion in Cuba | Monday, March 7th, 2016 | Time: 5:30 PM Where: Storm Hall West 011 (Behner Auditorium)

Today is the day!

We invite you to a special conversation with Ms. Georgina Herrera, Cuban poet and writer for radio, television and film. Dr. Norma Iglesias will interview Ms. Herrera about her experiences prior to, during and after the Revolution and how race has been historically shaped and expressed over time. In addition, we have secured the renowned Cuban drum and dance group, Omo Ache, to perform after the talk.



The event will take place in Spanish but we will provide simultaneous translation. Please bring a phone and headphones if you would like the translation service.

Her books will be available for sale at the event.

This is a very special occasion for us, and we hope you'll join in welcoming this wonderful guest from Cuba.

Monday, March 7th at 5:30 pm
Storm Hall West 011, Behner/Steifel Auditorium
Flyer Attached