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Modesty is a serious issue for a Christian. What is wrong with having a fashion show for modesty and the location could be at an events center. Let us say that you were going to a church pool party what would be the appropriate swim suit? What about the pants... Continue »
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Blog: Nancy's Blog
Often in my life I have held back something I needed to communicate or hesitated because I haven’t wanted to hurt someone’s feelings. I don’t want things to be messy and I don’t like the idea of people not liking me because I hurt their feelings. Yuck. This is a... Continue »
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Blog: Seth's Blog
It snowed last night here, so it must be almost time for the holidays. Some thoughts as you think about holiday gifts for you and the people you care about: There are fewer than 2,000 copies of my huge new... Continue »
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Blog: Nancy's Blog
Acceptance does not equal agreement. You don't have to agree with someone to accept them. You don't have to be best friends with someone because you accept them. Sometimes even, you can love people better from further away. You don't have to change your beliefs to accept someone. You don't... Continue »
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Gustavo Barrera Calderón. Dear Readers, As many of us process the results of the 2016 U.S. presidential election with anger and sadness, I hope that Gustavo Barrera Calderón's words might be a small source of light and strength. When I read his response for the first time yesterday, I was deeply moved and heartened by the grace and fortitude of this man who spent his entire childhood living under Augusto Pinochet's military dictatorship. (His poetry is remarkable, too.) The text in Spanish is posted below. Thanks for being with me this week. I wish you well-- Yours, Kathleen ----------- Gustavo Barrera Calderón (Santiago de Chile, 1975) has published eight books of poems, and received fellowship support from the Neruda Foundation, among others. I am currently translating his 2010 verse novel, Cuerpo perforado es una casa [Punctured Body Is a Home], which I first encountered while visiting Santiago in 2014, when I was struck by the direct, unadorned beauty of his poems, the way the seemingly straightforward language of Calderón's lines reveal much deeper emotional, familial, and political complexities. Excerpts from his book in my translation have been published in Issue 13 of SAND, and are forthcoming in the Issue 26 of Two Lines. This week we exchanged emails to discuss identity and the process of generating poetic material. KH: You've mentioned to me before that, while working with Gabriela Mistral's manuscripts in the Biblioteca Nacional de Chile, you came across many letters from the Cuban poet Dulce María Loynaz to Gabriela, which always began with “Cara Poetisa,” “Dear Poetess.” Although the poems in Punctured Body stand on their own, the book reads as a verse novel as well, since the arc of what's recounted is as important as the individual poems. There's also an epistolary quality to the book, written as it is in conversation with Dulce María's Jardín, that lends it an intimate, tender tone, as though the reader were listening in on a private exchange. You even lifted a handful of lines from her book as a way structuring your own. Could you tell us a bit more about how Punctured Body […] grew out of your engagement with Dulce María's voice, and how you arrived at the poetic voice of your book? GBC: As you say, I became familiar with Dulce María’s work thanks to her letters to Gabriela Mistral. I found the formalities and way in which she began her correspondence amusing: ‘Cara poetisa’ is already a dated expression, the word cara having been supplanted by querida or ‘estimada’; and ‘poetisa’—in Chile, at least—fell out of use at the request of female poets in the 1980s, who considered it a pejorative term. They felt that the word ‘poeta,’ ‘poet,’ should apply equally to both men and women, because language—especially in Spanish, which assigns all nouns a gender—is where discrimination and omissions originate (collective plurals in Spanish are all masculine—for example the word ‘children,’ ‘niños,’ refers to both niños and niñas). In my writing, I look to... Continue »