Teach Issue 16

Issue 16 CoverWhy Teach The Common?

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Supplementary materials for teaching Issue 16 are listed below.


Browse an interactive map of Issue 16

To accompany From Puerto Rico: One year after the storm / De Puerto Rico: Un año después de la tormenta

Puerto Rico Syllabus: Essential tools for critical thinking about the Puerto Rican debt crisis. This syllabus provides a list of resources for teaching and learning about the current economic crisis in Puerto Rico (available in English and Spanish).

Why would anyone in Puerto Rico want a hurricane? Because someone will get rich.” – How tax breaks and a quasi-colonial status make the island vulnerable to disasters. By Yarimar Bonilla in Washington Post. Read more from Bonilla.

Towards an Un-American Solidarity: Thinking With Puerto Rico After Hurricane María by Ren/Rachel Ellis Neyra, Ph.D (via Independent Curators International).

Ana Teresa Toro discusses why she stayed in Puerto Rico after the storm; Charo Henríquez describes why he left (via “Race/Related” a newsletter from The New York Times).

Carina del Valle Schorske discusses the art and importance of translation and amortal silence in the wake of Hurricane María (via The New York Times Magazine).

Jessica Sequeira reviews Mara Pastor’s poetry collection As Though the Wound Had Heard (via Berfrois). 

Ricardo Alberto Maldonado reads his poetry at Poets for Puerto Rico: A Reading for Hurricane Relief.

Cezanne Cardona Morales is interviewed by Egidio Colón Archilla in El Adoquín Times (in Spanish).

Peggy Robles-Alvarado is interviewed by Ivelisse Rodriguez (via Centro)

Adál’s collection “Puerto Ricans Underwater” is featured in Remezcla; see also: “Puerto Rican Identity, In and Out of Focus,” a profile on Adál’s work in The New York Times.

Eugenio Hopgood profiles artist Rafael Trelles (via Bienvenidos).

Willie Perdomo discusses his connection to New York City (via Words Without Borders); watch Perdomo perform at The Apollo as part of Urban World NYC; listen as Perdomo discusses poetry and cringe humor on NPR.

Sergio Gutiérrez Negrón discusses literature and the creative process (in Spanish via La Ventana); see also: Sergio Gutiérrez Negrón on why he dislikes talking about María since Trump’s visit to Puerto Rico (in Spanish via El Nuevo Día); listen to a Negrón discuss his novel on “En su tinta” de Radio Universidad de Puerto Rico (in Spanish).

Carmen Graciela Díaz writes a series of columns for El Nuevo Día; in “Obituarios,” she discusses arts and culture on the island or in the diaspora (in Spanish).

Vanessa Vilches Norat’s Geografías de lo perdido is reviewed by Francisco Font Acevedo (in Spanish; via 80grados).

Raquel Salas Rivera’s collection lo terciario/the tertiary was written in response the PROMESA (Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act) bill and forces readers to reconsider old questions when facing colonialism’s newest horrors; read an interview with Raquel Salas Rivera (via Shondaland).

Additional suggested reading:
The Battle For Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists by Naomi Klein
War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony by Nelson A. Denis
When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir by Esmeralda Santiago
Mundo Cruel: Stories by Luis Negrón
Macho Camacho’s Beat: a novel by Luis Rafael Sanchez

On literary translation

Read this art talk with NEA Literature Translation Fellow María José Giménez; see also: Giménez on poetry, translation, & other crucial cross-sections (via Jacket 2); Giménez in conversation with fellow translator Corine Tachtiris (via Words Without Borders).

Carina del Valle Schorske discusses the art and importance of translation (via The New York Times Magazine).

The Common’s Translation Editor, Curtis Bauer, discusses the importance of reading widely, and which came first, the translator or the poet (via Center for the Art of Translation).

Watch Valzhyna Mort discuss the poetics of translation and the role of the translator in conversation with Dr. James Byrne (via Edge Hill University); see also: Mort discusses writing across languages (via The California Journal of Poetics); read more of Mort’s translations in The Common Online.

Explore these collected resources on literary translation.

For further exploration, here and elsewhere

Interviews with the Editor in Chief: Jennifer Acker discusses The Common, the role of place in literature, and the editorial process.

“Plot, Character, Action!” – a craft “talk” by Shira Elmalich (via The Chattahoochee Review).

Catapult interviews PEN America Best Debut Short Story author Ben Shattuck; see also: Shattuck’s essays on winter and a lost fingertip (via The Paris Review blog) and on sleeping outside (via LitHub); and don’t miss “He’s-at-Home” – Shattuck’s historical essay from Issue 10.

Lisa Chen discusses writing process (via Writer’s Bone); see also: Chen at a 2015 NYC Emerging Writers Fellows reading at The Center for Fiction.

Joseph O. Legaspi in conversation with Thora Siemsen; on writing process, queerness in literature, Filipino texts, and his own work  (via The Creative Independent)

David Lehman’s collection Poems in the Manner of… is reviewed in Green Mountains Review; read more from Lehman in The Common Online.

Amy Lawless discusses writing process and her latest book with Ryann Donnelly at Interview; read more from Lawless in The Common Online.

Jeff Alessandrelli’s collection This Last Time Will Be The First is reviewed by Andrew Fulmer in The Rumpus.

Tina Cane discusses writing and how reproductive freedom informs her work (via The Woman Project); read more from Cane in The Common Online.

Dorothy Chan discusses her latest collection, Attack of the Fifty-Foot Centerfold, with Andrew Hamm (via Little Patuxent Review); read The Common contributor Zach Strait’s brief take on how Chan’s poems “freshen the world” in our Friday Reads column.

Sebastian Matthews and Vievee Francis discuss the private life of trauma, as well as race, culture, identity, and disclosing what others would keep hidden; read more from Matthews at The Common Online, and watch him read at Bowdoin College.

Read an introduction to Polina Barskova’s work in our Issue 6 portfolio “After the USSR (Three Russian Poets)”; read more from Barskova.

Watch: “Cave Canem Presents: Poets on Craft with Nathalie Handal and A. Van Jordan” (via The New School); read more from Nathalie Handal in The Common Online.

Read more from our Issue 16 poets in The Common Online:

Polina Barskova
Tina Cane
Nathalie Handal
Amy Lawless
David Lehman
Oksana Maksymchuk
Sebastian Matthews
Jill McDonough
Tom Paine


See all of Issue 16


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Teach Issue 16