Deep Vellum Literary Roundup: March & April 2014

The gears are turning, the magic is working, and the alchemist at the center of Deep Vellum is trying to turn literary dreams into (printed) words. Consider it a translation, if you will.

Things are good. The weather in Dallas has been hilarious (80 degrees Saturday, 20 degrees on Sunday), but that’s Texas in the spring.

Did y’all know Houston is awesome?! I ventured to Houston for the first time in a long while and finally got to visit the book wizards who run the best bookstore, BRAZOS BOOKSTORE, in our nation’s most diverse city (that’s Houston, btw). I walked away from their store with two books, one I’ve been meaning to grab for a while (Carlos Rojas’ The Ingenious Gentleman and Poet Federico Garcia Lorca Ascends to Hell, pub. by Yale University Press, translated by the legendary Edith Grossman [another aside, Rojas is/was a professor at my alma mater, Emory University!]), and one by a press I was not familiar with until I was hand-sold (!) by one of their fine booksellers: Zubaan Books, an imprint of Kali for Women, India’s biggest/best feminist publisher. Brazos’ head buyer, Danielle, recommended The Woman Who Thought She Was A Planet by Vandana Singh, a collection of stories she read as part of her own “2014: The Year of Reading Women” and loved. So I bought it and can’t wait to check it out. In other news, Brazos Bookstore is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, so stop by and wish them well, and if you’re in the Houston area the first weekend in April, go party with them, they’re having THREE well-earned, much-deserved birthday parties. I wish I could be there, but I will be on a jet plane to London then. Such is the life.


The next six weeks or so are jam-packed with events and goings-on in the literary world, at least in our little corner of the Southwest.

March 14, Deep Vellum will moderate and participate in a panel discussion on translation and reading at the first-ever Wildcatter Exchange, a celebration of the written and spoken word in the South Main neighborhood of Fort Worth. If you are in the Metroplex Saturday, March 14 at 3:00pm, stop by the Landers Machine Shop at 207 E. Broadway in Fort Worth, say hi to me, I’ll be reading from my translation of Oleg Kashin’s Fardwor, Ruissa! A Fantastical Tale from Putin’s Russia (an excerpt from which was published this month in the New England Review) and Dr. Sean Cotter (professor at UT-Dallas, translator of Mircea Cartarescu’s Blinding and Nichita Stanescu’s Wheel WIth a Single Spoke, both from Archipelago Books). Hopefully another local writer (and translator) will be chatting with us. The events of the Wildcatter Exchange are free, check out their schedule and come celebrate Fort Worth’s rich and evolving literary history!

Wildcatter Exchange

On Tuesday, March 18, Deep Vellum is honored to participate in the legendary SMU Lit Fest 2014 on a panel discussion about publishing with some of our area’s most prominent publishers and all-around-literary figures: Joe Milazzo (President of PEN Texas; editor for {out of nothing} & Black Clock; with a forthcoming novel from Jaded Ibis Productions); Matthew Limpede (Carve Magazine); Thea Temple (The Writer’s Garret; Firewheel Editions); and Ronald Moore (Baskerville Publishers). The event is free and there’s a reception afterwards! Food! Drinks! Publishers! By jove, you’d think you were somewhere other than Dallas, eh?!

SMU LitFest 2014

Another cool event I just found out about and will certainly be attending is the Dallas Literary One Night Stand, a night of celebrating local literary magazines & journals hosted by the fine folks from Carve Magazine at The People’s Last Stand (in Mockingbird Station) on March 27. Featured will be editors and contributors from The BoilerThe First LineReunion: The Dallas ReviewCamera ObscuraThe American Literary Review, and of course Carve Magazine. This ought to be an awesome event, it’s free, there’s food and drinks, and literary people. In Dallas. Did I mention that all this is happening in Dallas and Fort Worth?! AMAZING!


The morning after the Dallas Literary One Night Stand, I’ll make the short (in our part of the world) jaunt to Norman, Oklahoma to join in the Puterbaugh Festival of International Literature & Culture at the University of Oklahoma (a university that astounds me with its profound commitment to the publication, discussion, and dissemination of world literature, I might add). Andrés Neuman is this year’s Puterbaugh Fellow, an honor previously bestowed on an insane list of literary legends, including some future-Nobel laureates, including Kenzaburo Oe, Orhan Pamuk, J.M. Coetzee, Mario Vargas Llosa, and many of the notorious non-Nobel legends who deserved the Nobel, but went on to a different form of literary immortality, like Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, and BORGES(!). Needless to say, this honor puts Andrés Neuman in some pretty exclusive company, and I am honored to be able to participate in a translation workshop with OU students alongside Neuman and George Henson, one of Neuman’s translators, who is also translating Sergio Pitol’s El arte de la fuga (The Art of Flight) for Deep Vellum. This will be a special festival in celebration of Neuman and of world literature in general, I am beyond stoked to be a part of it!

Puterbaugh Festival

And as I’ve mentioned before, I’ll be participating in a panel at the London Book Fair’s Translation Centre on Tuesday, April 8 entitled “Pitching to Publishers.” This is my first time attending the London Book Fair, and more than anything, I am excited to meet in person all the internationally-based translators who will participate in programs at the amazing Translation Centre all week, especially  Samantha Schnee, who is translating Carmen Boullosa’s Texas: The Great Theft for Deep Vellum (though she lives in Houston now, Samantha is a Houston native!).

As soon as I get back from London I’ll head downtown for the newly-rebranded Dallas Book Festival (formerly known as the Dallas International Book Fair) held at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library from 12-5pm. There will be fun and festivities, and I will be hosting a talk on independent publishing and translations, and am also judging the Miriam Rodriguez Short Story Contest along with my good friend Joe Milazzo.


In other news, The Wild Detectives is now open! Next time you’re in Dallas’ lovely Bishop Arts District, make a stop at the orange bungalow on 8th St. and say hey to those beautiful fellas and pick up a book or three, have some wine, eat some food, drink all the coffee, and enjoy their gorgeous space.

WD House

Deep Vellum’s upcoming discussions, panels, talks, public appearances, shindigs, etc.:

  • March 14: Fort Worth, TX – Wildcatter Exchange w/ Sean Cotter
  • March 18: Dallas, TX – SMU LitFest 2014 w/ Joe Milazzo, Matthew Limpede, Thea Temple, and Ronald Moore
  • March 27: Dallas, TX – Dallas Literary One Night Stand w/ Carve Magazine & more
  • March 28: Norman, OK – Puterbaugh Festival w/ Andres Neuman & George Henson
  • April 8: London, United Kingdom – London Book Fair Translation Centre: Pitching to Publishers panel discussion
  • April 12: Dallas, TX – Dallas Book Festival at the Dallas Central Public Library
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