23 August 11 | Chad W. Post |

For this week’s podcast, Tom and I answered our first mailbag question about literary journals, discussed the old adage that “short stories don’t sell,” and complained about the unbeatable Milwaukee Brewers.

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17 June 10 | E.J. Van Lanen | Comments

In our fifty-first year of publication, the editors of the Massachusetts Review plan to dramatically increase the amount of fiction, poetry, and socially-engaged nonfiction they publish in translation. Today, we see a great need for literary journals to internationalize—to open their ears and their pages to voices from outside the United States, and to writers in languages other than English. MR believes we have a real opportunity for synergy with friends and colleagues from local institutions, given the strength of the University of Massachusetts Amherst programs in translation, of the locally-based translation studies journal Metamorphoses, as well as of the American Studies Diploma Program at Smith College (a one-year graduate program exclusively for international students). But we will of course need the help of readers, colleagues, and translators from across the globe. To that end, we announce the Jules Chametzky Prize for Literary Translation.

The Jules Chametzky Prize in Literary Translation, sponsored by the Massachusetts Review, will be awarded annually to the best poem and prose translations published within our pages in a Volume year. Judges for the award will be MR’s translation editors, Ellen Watson and Edwin Gentzler, along with an additional third judge, chosen yearly from the local pool of translation experts. MR editors are not eligbile for the prize. Once a decision has been made, the writers in both categories will be contacted directly. The prize will award $500 each for the best poetry and prose translations to appear in MR’s pages in a Volume year. There is no entry fee; all submissions must be adhere to our general guidelines, which you will find here. A copy of the translated text should be submitted along with the translation.

To put it simply, our goal is to publish great writing from across the globe, from writers we haven’t yet heard.

They’re accepting submissions starting October 1st…

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Morse, My Deaf Friend
Morse, My Deaf Friend by Miloš Djurdjević
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in _Morse, My Deaf Friend_— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .

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The Crimson Thread of Abandon
The Crimson Thread of Abandon by Terayama Shūji
Reviewed by Robert Anthony Siegel

The Crimson Thread of Abandon is the first collection of short fiction available in English by the prolific Japanese writer and all-around avant-garde trickster Terayama Shūji, who died in 1983 at the age of 47. This collection would be important. . .

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Life Embitters
Life Embitters by Josep Pla
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Last year, NYRB Classics introduced English-language readers to Catalan writer Josep Pla with Peter Bush’s translation of The Gray Notebook. In that book, Pla wrote about life in Spain during an influenza outbreak soon after World War I, when. . .

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The Physics of Sorrow
The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov
Reviewed by Izidora Angel

“Your bile is stagnant, you see sorrow in everything, you are drenched in melancholy,” my friend the doctor said.
bq. “Isn’t melancholy something from previous centuries? Isn’t some vaccine against it yet, hasn’t medicine taken care of it yet?” I. . .

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Vano and Niko
Vano and Niko by Erlom Akhvlediani
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

What to make of Vano and Niko, the English translation of Erlom Akhvlediani’s work of the same name, as well as the two other short books that comprise a sort of trilogy? Quick searches will inform the curious reader that. . .

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The Indian
The Indian by Jón Gnarr
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

The opening of Jón Gnarr’s novel/memoir The Indian is a playful bit of extravagant ego, telling the traditional story of creation, where the “Let there be light!” moment is also the moment of his birth on January 2nd, 1967. Then. . .

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Mother of 1084; Old Women; Breast Stories
Mother of 1084; Old Women; Breast Stories by Mahasweta Devi
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Mahasweta Devi is not only one of the most prolific Bengali authors, but she’s also an important activist. In fact, for Devi, the two seem to go together. As you can probably tell from the titles, she writes about women. . .

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