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Terra Incognita – 2002/2003

Editors Alexandra van de Kamp (U.S.) and Alberto Domínguez  (Spain), two of five co-editors between Madrid and New York, tell us this bilingual journal “attempts to demarcate an open, lyrical territory in which surprising relationships and uncanny connections may occur among different worlds and points of views.” The work here does, indeed, reach beyond the mere distance between Manhattan and Madrid, offering an eclectic mix that is surprising and pleasing to find between one set of covers, from José  Saramago’s speech to the World Social Forum in Brazil in 2002 “From Justice to Democracy by Way of Our Bells,” to Sarah Kennedy’s quiet, painterly poem “Morning, with Tea.”

Editors Alexandra van de Kamp (U.S.) and Alberto Domínguez  (Spain), two of five co-editors between Madrid and New York, tell us this bilingual journal “attempts to demarcate an open, lyrical territory in which surprising relationships and uncanny connections may occur among different worlds and points of views.” The work here does, indeed, reach beyond the mere distance between Manhattan and Madrid, offering an eclectic mix that is surprising and pleasing to find between one set of covers, from José  Saramago’s speech to the World Social Forum in Brazil in 2002 “From Justice to Democracy by Way of Our Bells,” to Sarah Kennedy’s quiet, painterly poem “Morning, with Tea.”

There is much to ponder and appreciate, not the least of which is the opportunity to read writers from around the world one might not encounter in other publications available in the United States. There is some incredibly fine poetry in this issue. In particular, I was moved by the work of noted Spanish poet Angela Pérez Ovejero’s, whose poem “The 28th of March, 1986″ is beautifully, tenderly translated by Alexandra van de Kamp. Here is an excerpt:

“The night thickens with nails,
with walls of silence.
He has died of cancer.
You dress him in a vegetable skin:
it is the porous bark of acorn trees
or the black rain of windows,
of motionless statues,
black and motionless.”

A summary in text and images by sculptor and conceptual artist Douglas Fishbone of his interactive installation of 25,000 bananas at the Banco Central in Cuenca, Ecuador (“…a critique of some of the more violent aspects of globalization and contemporary consumer capitalism”) is provocative. An interview with prolific Spanish novelist Alejando Gándara also seems utterly apt for our time (“News does not necessarily suggest knowledge, and much less transparency…The world can turn opaque because of the news…”). Captivating photographs of a sort of words-or-paper-as-movement-and-visual-image by New York sculptor and photographer Suzanne Broughel need no translation. [Terra Incognita, P.O. Box 15085, Brooklyn, NY, 11215-0585. E-mail: [email protected] Single issue $7.50. www.terra-incognita.com] – SR

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