The summer 1996 issue presents new work by poets and fiction writers of Chile, Colombia, and Peru: Marjorie Agosin, Pia Barros, Alejandra Basualto, Carlos German Belli, J.G. Cobo Borda, Juan Cameron, Luis Ernesto Carcamo, Jean Pablo del Rio, Oscar Hahn, Jotamario, Marco Martos, Giovanni Quessep, Laura Reisco, and Eduardo Vassallo. Guest-edited by American translator and poet James Hoggard, the feature includes the most distinguished and the youngest writers of Chile and Colombia. Also in the feature is an overview essay by Hoggard on the cosmopolitan sensibility and primitive vitality of the region’s literature.
The Pacific South American prose in this issue is equally inventive and energetic. All by women, the stories reflect the tendency among contemporary Latin American women writers to depict a world of instability, a consciousness wounded and troubled. Some of the stories, like some of the poems, explicitly address the physical and psychic violence of living in a totalitarian state.
The photography is by Gaye Chan, a Hawai‘i-based artist whose enigmatic, surrealistic pictures complement the haunting fiction in this issue.
About the guest-editor: James Hoggard has published many poems, stories, essays, and translations and teaches at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. His volumes of translations include Oscar Hahn’s The Art of Dying and Love Breaks and Tino Villanueva’s Chronicle of My Worst Years.
“She came towards us. The men looked at their hands, their boots, anything that could take them away from that place. I couldn’t help but remember my childhood flowing from the rain in that wide greenness that is the South. My father’s long, thin whip didn’t allow for visits to ‘those dirty people and their horrible life’—the attraction of that horrible life represented by the unfathomable Ermina next to her brazier, bearer of the future and of the evil eye.”
—from “Appraisals” by Pia Barros