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United States: Weaving Poetry on the Streets of New York

“El Tejedor en Nueva York” (The Weaver in New York) [es] is a traveling multimedia anthology produced by the photographer and cultural promoter Juan J. Sanz Morera, and his independent publishing house La única Puerta a la Izquierda (The only door on the left).

Sanz, who started the “Weaver in New York” collection with David Gonzalez in Madrid, collaborated with McNally Jackson bookseller Javier Molea, and the Spanish writer Isabel Cadenas Cañon to interweave the writings of 17 poets who come and go from New York. The anthology features poets from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Below is a fragment of the anti-rules that guided the analogies:

Quizás los criterios de selección que seguimos determinaron ese espíritu. Cansados de antologías cronológicas, correctas, apolilladas, decidimos aprovechar la ocasión y hacer un libro para textos que no tienen lugar: una antología de textos no antologables. Los autores que figuran aquí recibieron una única consigna: debían enviarnos textos que creyeran que un antólogo nunca seleccionaría. Así que esta antología es, para comenzar, un acto de desobediencia contra las antologías. Primera resistencia.

Perhaps the selection criteria we followed determined that spirit. Tired of chronological, correct, and moth-eaten anthologies, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to create a book for texts that don't fit anywhere: an anthology of non-anthological texts. The authors who figure here were given only one rule: they had to send a text that they thought would never be chosen for an anthology. So this anthology, to begin with, is an act of disobedience against anthologies. The first stand.

To create this project, Sanz toured the city with the poets, interviewed them in different scenarios, had open air poetry readings, and then put all the material out on his website [es].  The objective: “for us to find out through them what's cooking in the cities where we travel. This way we won't get to just read and enjoy these writings, but also get to know the city, its hidden pockets, its feelings, its people.”

Here are three of the interviews available on the website. In the first, the Colombian writer Carlos Aguasaco, speaks about–among other things–the resurgence of literary works of Caribbean and Latin Americans in New York.

Aguasaco also directs Artepoética.com, [es] from which he runs a radio and television broadcasting station, as well as publishing news, essays and information about literary competitions.

We continue with the interview of the “Puerto Rican poet, performance artist, teacher and polemicist” Urayoan Noel Martínez, who recently received a postdoctoral grant from the Ford Foundation to finish a book about Nuyoricans [Puerto Ricans living in New York] from the sixties to the present.

We close with the interview of Soledad Marambio, Chilean journalist and writer:

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