Thursday, June 11, 2015

Richard Blanco Launches "Bridges to/from Cuba"

Inaugural poet Richard Blanco just launched Bridges to/from Cuba, a writing project intended to lift what he calls Cuba’s “emotional embargo.” He and his co-creator, Ruth Behar, were prompted by what they feel is a distorted image of Cuba that has emerged in the wake of the recent, historic d├ętente between the US and Cuba.
"I think what we want to do is broaden people's minds, both Cuban-Americans and Cubans on the island," Blanco said. "Giving them things to think about: How emotionally we move forward, and each other's responsibility to each other's stories and how we can merge those stories."
Blanco’s wonderful memoir, The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood, explores his coming-of-age as the child of Cuban immigrants and his attempts to understand his place in America while grappling with his burgeoning artistic and sexual identities. It was recently chosen as Florida International University’s freshman common read. 
Click here to see a video of Richard speaking about growing up between cultures at the 2015 FYE annual conference

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ecco Publisher Dan Halpern Honored With the 2015 Maxwell E. Perkins Award


Dan Halpern, Publisher and President of Ecco, was just named the recipient of its 2015 Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction—an award that recognizes an editor, publisher, or agent who over the course of his or her career has discovered, nurtured, and championed writers of fiction in the United States.
Dan is the author of nine collections of poetry, most recently Something Shining. For 25 years, Halpern edited the international literary magazine Antaeus, which he founded in Tangier with Paul Bowles. He has received many grants and awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and taught at Columbia University, The New School, and Princeton University. In 1978, he founded The National Poetry Series with James A. Michener, which oversees the publication of five books of poetry every year.  
Among the authors he has worked with at both Ecco and Antaeus are Cormac McCarthyLouise GluckRichard FordAnthony BourdainJoyce Carol OatesAmy TanTom RobbinsJorie GrahamPhilipp MeyerLeonard Cohen, Lawrence Durrell, John FowlesRussell BanksRobert StonePatti SmithTobias WolffCharles SimicItalo CalvinoPaul Bowles, Pete Dexter, Gay TaleseErica JongVendela VidaT.C. BoyleJorge Luis BorgesJohn Ashbery, William Burroughs, William T. Vollmann, Tennessee Williams, Nell Freudenberger, Mark Strand, Natasha Trethewey, and many others.
Please join us in congratulating Dan on this much-deserved achievement!