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Letter from the Editor  

     WELCOME to the first issue of Tameme, the bilingual annual literary magazine of new writing from North America— Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Inside you will find short stories, travel writing, humor, memoirs, and poetry from some of the most interesting literary artists on the continent. Some are well-known internationally —Margaret Atwood, for example — while others (Mexican Juan Villoro and Canadian Douglas Glover) are well-known to literary aficionados in their own countries, but not yet elsewhere; still others, such as Texan William C. Gruben and Haitian-born Edwidge Danticat, are at the beginning of what promise to be stellar careers. Their subjects are wildly different: a pair of scissors (Fabio Morábito); a Louisiana man whose wife has run away with an Eskimo (Douglas Glover); a Spanish peasant comes to the Yucatán in search of a market for sugar (Juan Villoro); Thorstein Veblen and the denizens of Bloomington, Minnesota (Lynda McDonnell); Dadaist meat grinders at the Rodeo Butcher Shop in Quitaque, West Texas (William C. Gruben) — just to give a few examples. What all have in common is an ability to write exquisite and engaging English — or Spanish — and a unique sensibility about what it means to be a North American.

       Far too few writers of merit are translated into English or Spanish while they are still alive; and too often these few translations are problematic. This restricts a wealth of voices and stories and poems to isolated spheres, leaving both readers and writers in other languages poorer. In Tameme you will find first-rate literary translations of living authors’ recent work, which in many cases are the first translations of that author’s work into Spanish or English.

Tameme is also a forum for the art of Spanish-to-English and English-to-Spanish literary translation. (Translators please note: we follow the pen American Center guidelines as stated in A Handbook for Literary Translators, prepared by the Translation Committee of pen American Center.) Most publications list the translator’s name in small italics at the bottom of his or her work, as if it were barely worthy of mention; we believe, however, that literary translation is a painstaking art which deserves equal billing with that of the original writer — after all, when Beethoven is played at Carnegie Hall, it matters, very much, who the pianist is. At the back of the magazine you will find biographical information about the translators, as well as their notes on the translations and reflections on the art of translation in general.

        What does “tameme” mean? Tameme is a Náhuatl word for porter or messenger. Our hope is that Tameme will play that role, bringing new writing from North America both north and south.


C.M Mayo, Editor

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