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Lawrence Schimel

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2014 Recap [29 Dec 2014|01:02pm]
2014 was a pretty good year for me, although in some ways it was a year of transition, as I try and put into practice some reflections on my own life following the death of my grandmother last December; this will hopefully lead to my moving away from the more-commercial translations, which pay much better than literary ones (alas!) but which I am not essential for (whereas my translation of a poem, say, is unique to me and different from another translator's), and also (ideally) doing more of my own writing.



Although there is a lot of new stuff in the works (and I even got to see galleys already for some of them!), I published only one new book of my own this year:
The picture book ¿COMO SE DICE? illustrated by Romina Pernigotte, from Amanuense in Guatemala.

Shorter pieces:

A handful of my poems (mostly self-translations from the Spanish) were published in the anthology JOY EXHAUSTIBLE, edited by Bryan Borland and Seth Pennington (also published as issue 10 of ASSARACUS).

My poem "Deleted Names" was reprinted in the anthology OBSESSION: SESTINAS IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY, edited by Carolyn Beard Whitlow and Marilyn Krysl (Dartmouth University Press).

My villanelle "Aubade" was reprinted in MEIN SCHWULES AUGE 11 edited by Axel Schock (Verlag Claudia Gehrke).

I wrote and published a new short story, "Statistics," which appeared in Spanish in the anthology LO QUE NO SE DICE published by Dos Bigotes in Spain.

My short story "Pity Fuck" was reprinted in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST NEW EROTCA 13 edited by Maxim Jakubowski (along with my translation into English of Anna Lidia Vega Serova's story "Cancer").

I also wrote the prologue for the Spanish edition of PASSION by Brane Mozetic. (I find writing prologues and blurbs and that sort of writing to be so difficult! It's like having teeth pulled, for me, so I do it so very little...)

My own writing in other languages:

My children's book THE BOY AND THE SPY, illustrated by Jaime Martínez, appeared in a bilingual Hungarian-English edition, translated by Anna T. Szabo, published by Csimota.

My children's book ¡VAMOS A VER A PAPÁ!, illustrated by Alba Marina Rivera, was published in Japan by Iwanami Shoten, translated by Kazumi Uno.

Some of my poems appeared in Galician translation by Isaac Xubin in the anthology ENO MAR CABE QUANTI QUER CABI, the result of the poetry translation workshop organized by Yolanda Castaño on San Simón Island, which I took part in (in October 2013) together with Gökçenur Ç, Samira Negrouche, Xuan Bello, Kätlin Kaldmaa, Anna T Szabó, and of course Isaac, who translated all of us.

And 6 poems of mine, translated into Slovenian by Brane Mozetic, appeared in the journal APOKALIPSA 177-178.


This was a very busy year for me, translation-wise, although the vast majority of what I translated this year is still in production and will be published next year. But here is what was published in 2014:


CAMOUFLAGES by Joan Fontcuberta (Gustavo Gili)
PUIG: 100 YEARS OF A FAMILY BUSINESS by Eugenia de la Torriente (Assouline)
IN THE SPIRIT OF SEVILLE by Antonio del Junco (Assouline)

Graphic novel:
EURONIGHTMARE by Aleix Salò (Penguin Random House)

Poetry collection:
DISSECTION by Care Santos (A Midsummer Night's Press)

Children's books:
Into English:
MEET THE ARTIST: MATISSE by Patricia Geis (Princeton Architectural Press)
Into Spanish:
LA BALLENA NEGRA by Fatemeh Sarmashghi (Amanuense)

Shorter pieces:

I published three translations at Words Without Borders this year:
Excerpts from two Mexican YA novels:
FOR NINA by Javier Malpica in June
& THE BOOK OF DENIAL by Ricardo Chávez Castañeda in December
and also an essay by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo in September

I also translated an essay by Gisela Kozak for LITERAL Magazine.

A few poems I translated were published this year (I must try to be better in 2015 about submitting some of the many poems I've translated into English to journals or websites!):
"Somewhere" by Jordi Doce for STRUCTO 12
Untitled by Anna Lidia Vega Serova in issue 7 of 1110
"Beauty" by Ángel Erro in CUTBANK


I visited Estonia for the first time to talk about children's books with Edward van de Vendel and Áslaug Jónsdóttir, and also went back to Germany, Italy, and Mexico for the Frankfurt, Bologna, and Guadalajara Book Fairs, respectively, as well as trips to the US (for AWP in Seattle and the Brooklyn Book Fair) and the UK (for the Free Verse Poetry Book Fair in London).

As I said above: a pretty good year, with lots of exciting things in store for 2015!
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Interview [23 Oct 2014|03:35pm]
Grateful to M. Lynx Qualey for highlighting A Midsummer Night's Press's new Periscope Poetry imprint with this Q&A with me on her blog: http://arablit.wordpress.com/2014/10/23/new-imprint-looking-to-translate-womens-poetry-redress-translations-gender-balance/
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Book trailer for EuroNightmare [23 Oct 2014|11:10am]
This is the book trailer for Aleix Saló's graphic novel EURONIGHTMARE, which I translated into English for Penguin Random House: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDqayC1sR7g
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[19 Oct 2014|08:21pm]
Ah! That does seem to have worked.

So here are a few more pics, of two recent anthologies I appear in.

Also while at the Frankfurt Book Fair I picked up my contributor copies of MEIN SCHWULES AUGE 11, an anthology of gay art and texts edited by Axel Schock and Rinaldo Hopf, which contains a poem by me.

And yesterday I got my contributor copies of the new Spanish-language anthology LO QUE NO SE DICE, which is published by Dos Bigotes in Spain, and which contains a brand new story be about flamenco and machismo.

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Wiping away some dust [19 Oct 2014|06:18pm]
It's been forever and then some since last I posted anything. I can't seem to post pictures directly from Flickr any longer, which is mostly how I did in the past. Will see if this works...

Last week I turned 43!

Here's a pic of me blowing out the candles on a gluten-free birthday cake my husband baked for me:

Just before that I was at the Frankfurt Bookfair, where I got a "dummy" for my forthcoming picture book, WE BELONG TOGETHER, illustrated by Ann De Bode, which will be published by De Eenhoorn in Belgium in Spring 2015. Very exciting!

Let's see if these pictures post properly...

Meanwhile, it's probably easiest to keep up with me on twitter, which I update much more regularly than this (even though I do still swing through and read LJ from time to time): twitter.com/lawrenceschimel
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Mary Stewart [15 May 2014|12:36pm]
Very sad to learn Mary Stewart has passed away.

I never read her Arthurians but adored her gothic novels, like AIRS ABOVE THE GROUND, THE MOONSPINNERS, TOUCH NOT THE CAT, and THUNDER ON THE RIGHT.


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2013 Recap [31 Dec 2013|09:49pm]
I've fallen out of the habit of tallying what I've done for the year. I've also gotten lax about keeping notes of what I've read this year (in part because I've abandoned so many books partway through--Sigh).

But here goes a quick summary of 2013:

New books:

Poetry collections for adults:
DELETED NAMES from A Midsummer Night's Press.

Kidzbooks written in Spanish:
LA CASA DE LOS ESPEJOS, illustrated by Rocío Parra, was published in Colombia by Panamericana.
VOLANDO COMETAS, illustrated by Nuria Fortuny, was published in Spain in Spanish and Catalan by Edicions Bellaterra. (A Slovenian translation also appeared this fall from Alef.)

Translations of books by me:

My picture book ¡VAMOS A VER A PAPÁ! was published in Brazil by Ediçoes SM.


My picture book IGUAL QUE ELLOS/JUST LIKE THEM, illustrated by Doug Cushman, was chosen by IBBY for Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities 2013.

This year I went to Bologna (twice), New York (three times), London, Frankfurt, Slovenia, and Mexico (Guadalajara and Mexico City).

Translations into English:
I translated many, many things this year, although most of them have not been published yet.

My translation of poems by Jordi Doce poems appeared in AGENDA and an art catalogue by Mela Ferrer.
My translations of poems by Care Santos appeared in the journals SO TO SPEAK and CASCADIA SUBDUCTION ZONE.
My translations of poems by Sofía Rhei appeared in STAR*LINE and DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES.
My translation of a poem by Ángel Erro appeared in the anthology BETWEEN (Chelsea Station Editions)

My translation of Anna Lidia Vega Serova's story "Harpooned Woman" appeared in WORDS WITHOUT BORDERS.

Some books I translated that were published in 2013 include:

TERRA NOVA (Sportula) I co-translated this anthology of Spanish sci-fi with Sue Burke. I translated the novelette by Lola Robles, Erick Mota, and Teresa P. Mira de Echeverría.

REVUE by Eugenio Recuenco (TeNeus)
PABLO PICASSO: MEET THE ARTIST by Patricia Geis (Princeton Architectural Press)
CUSTOMER COMPLAINT MANAGEMENT by Palmira López-Fresno (Amanuense)

A few other books I translated this year, including an essay by Claudio Naranjo and two books for Assouline, won't appear until 2014.

I think that's everything.

We'll see what 2014 brings. :-)
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[08 Nov 2013|01:02pm]
I have two translations in this new anthology BETWEEN: NEW GAY POETRY edited by Jameson Currier for Chelsea Station Editions: www.chelseastationeditions.com/BetweenNewGayPoetry.html

One is a poem by Basque poet Angel Erro. The other is a self-translation into English of a poem from my Spanish-language collection DESAYUNO EN LA CAMA.
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Upcoming Travel [21 Sep 2013|08:10pm]
Some updates on where I'll be over the next few months:

Oct 3-5, Liber, Madrid
Oct 8-11, Frankfurt Book Fair, Frankfurt, Germany
Oct 13-20, poetry translation workshop on San Simon Island, Vigo, Spain
Oct 29-Nov 1, GenderBender festival, Bologna, Italy
Nov 21-24, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Dec 1-3, FIL, Guadalajara, Mexico

It's going to be a busy fall!
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Slovenia [28 Aug 2013|10:44am]

Volando cometas
Originally uploaded by desayunoencama.
Just booked my tickets to Slovenia in November, to present the Slovenian translation of VOLANDO COMETAS in Ljubljana. My 5th children's book to be published in Slovenia! :-)
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John Hollander [19 Aug 2013|02:04pm]
RIP John Hollander, poet and professor: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/19/books/john-hollander-poet-known-for-his-range-dies-at-83.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

I studied with him in the early 90s when I was an undergraduate at Yale and even before that his book RHYME'S REASON was one of my early primers on poetic forms.

Here is a clerihew about him by another of my Yale professors and his colleague Marie Borroff, which I think embodies both his love of wordplay and of form:

JOhn HOllander
WrOte a pOem shaped like a cOllander,
With hOles cOmpOsed Of rOws
and rOws Of capital O's.
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Interview in A&U [10 Aug 2013|06:21pm]

Volando cometas
Originally uploaded by desayunoencama.
Brent Calderwell interviewed me for A&U Magazine about VOLANDO COMETAS, my Spanish-language picture book about HIV.

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Spanish science fiction [24 Jul 2013|10:51am]
All three of the stories I translated for TERRA NOVA: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY SPANISH-LANGUAGE SCIENCE FICTION (Sportula) are finalists for the Premios Ignotus 2013 (Spain's equivalent of the Hugo Awards): http://sentidodelamaravilla.blogspot.com.es/2013/07/finalistas-de-los-premios-ignotus-2013.html

These are "Greetings from a Zombie Nation" by Erick J. Mota in the novella/novelette category and "Deirdre" by Lola Robles & "Memory" by Teresa P. Mira de Echeverria in the short story category.

The English-language version of the anthology can be found: http://www.sportularium.com/?p=2336
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Guest editing issue of EYE TO THE TELESCOPE dedicated to science fiction poetry in translation [23 Jul 2013|04:30pm]
I was asked to guest-edit an issue of EYE TO THE TELESCOPE (www.eyetothetelescope.com), the online journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and I decided to edit an issue devoted to SF-nal poetry in translation into English from other languages. Here are the guidelines:

Eye to the Telescope is looking for submissions for the October 2013 issue. The theme will be SF poetry in translation. The editor is looking for translations into English of speculative poetry from a broad range of both subgenres (cyberpunk, mythological, etc.) as well as languages. It is impossible to cover such an enormous subject as the SF-nal poetry written in languages other than English in a single online issue; this issue will attempt to merely offer readers a glimpse in English of that vast kaleidoscope. Guest-edited by Lawrence Schimel.

Submission Guidelines

The editor will accept translations into English in any style or form.
The editor also actively encourages submissions of translations of relevant work by writers who have historically been marginalized, including but not limited to women writers (see the annual VIDA count: http://vidaweb.org), LGBT writers, writers of color, writers who are ethnic or linguistic minorities in the countries they live in, etc.
The editor also actively encourages submissions from so-called “minority” or regional languages, including those languages which don't have an official status in the state or country where they are used (Basque, Catalan, Cornish, Esperanto, Yiddish, etc.)
It is the translator's responsibility to secure permission from the author or rightsholder to publish the translations of the poem.
Send submissions to worldscifipoetry@gmail.com with “Eye to the Telescope” in the subject line. Reprints of translated poems already published in English are acceptable if the poem has never appeared online; provide previous publication information with your submission.


Please submit 1–5 poems in English translation (in body of email or attached as .rtf).
In your cover letter, please state the language the poems are translated from and the country where the author is from and/or currently lives.
Include short bios of both author and translator.
Deadline: September 15, 2013.

Payment and rights

Accepted poems will be paid for at the following rate: US 3¢/word rounded to nearest dollar; minimum US $3, maximum $25. Payment is on publication.
Payment can be made to either the translator or the poet or split between the translator and the poet, as agreed upon in each individual case.
The Science Fiction Poetry Association normally uses PayPal to pay poets, but can also send checks.
Eye to the Telescope is an online publication. Therefore, First Electronic Rights (for original translations of poems) or reprint electronic rights are being sought.
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Deliverance [03 Jul 2013|11:53pm]
Nearly 2am. Just turned in a little over 14,000 words of translations, which I've been proofing all evening. Although I'm afraid that the later it got, the less proofing I did... Zzzzzzz.
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Timing [03 Jul 2013|02:31pm]
Last night I got an email from a publishing client who felt guilty that I couldn't invoice a translation since the author still hadn't turned in the last chapter, in fact the book had been bumped to the next season since this was all supposed to have been finish weeks and weeks ago.

She told me to go ahead and invoice everything up until that last chapter, even though contract specified no payment until it was all done.

So I did and sent it back to her last night.

And lo! this morning the author turned in the last chapter, which I've just translated and delivered to the publisher along with a revised invoice. Whew!
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ASSARACUS 10 [24 Apr 2013|12:40pm]

Originally uploaded by desayunoencama.
I got my contributor's copy of ASSARACUS 10, which includes 9 poems by me.

I've been translating so much lately, it's nice to suddenly have a flurry of publishing activity for my own work for a change. :-)
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digital ghosts [24 Apr 2013|10:42am]
Do people delete from their online "friendships" the profiles of friends who have passed away?

Facebook says that today is the birthday for a publishing colleague who passed away last year, and I just had to inform another colleague who hadn't heard the news that she shouldn't be writing HAPPY BIRTHDAY on her wall any longer.

The title poem for my new poetry collection, DELETED NAMES, is about this issue, more specifically: whether or not to delete the entry for a friend who passed away, because every time I scrolled past her name in my phone's address book, it provokes a fresh pang of sadness, but at the same time it feels like that digital link is the last remaining tie of our friendship and to sever it would be worse.

With the more-public online profiles, like the Facebook page of the woman whose birthday would've been today, many people wrote tributes on her wall after she passed away. Which is one reason I didn't "unfriend" her profile yet.

Although, thinking for myself, I'd rather my profile be taken down after I'm gone, if no one were going to be "managing" it (with updates of my posthumous publications, perhaps).

Are people making arrangements for what will happen to their online profiles after they pass away?

Am I awful for thinking that, on a practical level, since I've hit the limit of 5000 contacts on Facebook, if I do delete this deceased colleague from my "friends" list, I could add someone else?
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contrib copy of ON THE DARK PATH [23 Apr 2013|05:10pm]
Got my contributor's copy of ON THE DARK PATH: AN ANTHOLOGY OF FAIRY TALE POETRY edited by Anita M. Barnard, which includes 2 poems by me.
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A fairy tale for Yom HaShoah [08 Apr 2013|07:39pm]
by Lawrence Schimel

She wore glass spectacles
for her vision was clouded,
as if that night her family's home
was burned to the ground in a pogrom
the smoke had gotten into her eyes
and never left them.

They named her Cinderella
when they pulled her from the ashes,
their hearts going soft because
she was only three years old.
Years later, her stepsisters teased
that she was named Cinderella
because she was dark as soot.
They pinched her bold nose
and pulled her black hair
and powdered their pale faces
to go to parties with the Vienese elite.

Cinderella was never invited
to attend these lavish functions;
her foster family left her at home,
working while they danced,
dreaming of the day she was asked to accompany them.
She was always certain it would not be long,
and therefore worked unfailingly, hoping
for approval.

While her stepsisters primped and prepped
to waltz among princes, Cinderella walked
to the market, stepping over sewage in the gutters,
dodging the nimble rats that boldly crossed
the streets in search of food. A kindly frau
who sat beside a cart of squash--yellow gourds
and fat pumpkins like lumpy little suns--stopped her.
She took Cinderella's hands into her own.
"You look so sad. I will help you."
The woman drew Cinderella into the shadows
of the alleyway, and pulled papers from her pocket.
"Take these," she said. "They are mine,
but I am old. Go to America instead of me.
Find a new life. Send for your family,
if any are still alive. I am too old to begin again.
But for you, there is still hope for you."

Cinderella stared at this woman."I am
no Jew," she said, handing back the papers.
She walked away, but the frau's words--
the insinuations, the generosity--
haunted her. She walked faster,
trying to outrun the echoes in her mind.

Passing a shop window, Cinderella saw
a pair of slippers made of glass.
If she had been invited to the ball,
she thought, she would wear those.
She stared at them,
and her reflection stared back:
swart, square. Semitic.

She bought the slippers with the grocery money
and hurried back to the now-empty house.
Cinderella powdered her face
with the stepsister's cosmetics,
put on one of their dresses.
She tied her dark hair in a knot
hiding it beneath a silver scarf.
But still her nose betrayed her.
She didn't care. She slipped on her glass shoes
and made her way across town to the gala,
dreaming of finding a prince who would love her
and adore her and take her away to an enchanted life
where it did not matter that she looked like a jew.

The party was as dazzling as she had dreamed.
No one stopped her at the door, or paid her any
notice at all, it seemed, though some people stared.
No one spoke to her. And then a shriek
made Cinderella the focus of six hundred eyes,
as her two stepsisters ran toward her.
"You are not fit to be seen here!" they cried.
They snatched the spectacles from her face
and, in front of the assembled crowd,
crushed them underfoot with a delicate
twist of the toe, grinding downward.

Cinderella's vision blurred without her glasses.
Tears burned in her eyes, and then suddenly
the smoke that had clouded her sight
for as long as she could recall
lifted. She saw, at last, what she had always
refused to see before: these people had killed
her family, had meant to kill her as well.

She stood there, numb, as the stepsisters
poked and pushed her. They stepped
on her toes and broke her glass slippers
into hundreds of sharp splinters.

Cinderella left the shards of her glass shoes
on the dance floor and walked barefoot
out of the hall, leaving footprints of blood
behind her. She was never seen again.
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