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Volume 26 Issue 4
Fall 2003

Special Issue: The Literature and Visual Art of Veracruz, Mexico

The Poetry of Veracruz

Beverido, Maliyel, 1964-
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
Sorceress
Beverido, Maliyel, 1964-
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
Orion Responds
Brash, Jorge, 1949-
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
Red Landscape
Brash, Jorge, 1949-
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
Ages of Oblivion
Brash, Jorge, 1949-
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
Trees
Brash, Jorge, 1949-
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
Landscape
Brash, Jorge, 1949-
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
Notes for a Feline Sonnet
Krauss, Camila.
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
Beatriz
Krauss, Camila.
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
Félix, the Boy

Krauss, Camila.
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
In the Red Forest of Ten Acres
Krauss, Camila.
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
She Can Never Remember
Krauss, Camila.
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
from
The Consecration of the Spring
Krauss, Camila.
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
In Admiration of Edward Hopper
Molina, Miguel, 1955-
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
October Week
Rivas, José Luis, 1950-
Villalobos, José Pablo, tr.
Estuary
Rivas, José Luis, 1950-
Villalobos, José Pablo, tr.
XXVII
Rivas, José Luis, 1950-
Villalobos, José Pablo, tr.
XXXI
Rivas, José Luis, 1950-
Villalobos, José Pablo, tr.
River
Rivas, José Luis, 1950-
Villalobos, José Pablo, tr.
XLVI
Rodríguez, Ramón, 1925-
White, Steven F., 1955-, tr.
Old Fashioned Blues
Rodríguez, Ramón, 1925-
Villalobos, José Pablo, tr.
Cardset

The Fiction of Veracruz
Antúnez, Rafael, 1960-
Villalobos, José Pablo, tr.
You Were a Better Liar in Paris
Lazo, Norma.
Fonseca, Jorge Angelo, tr.
The Taxidermist (The Father)
Pitol, Sergio, 1933-
MacAdam, Alfred, tr.
Bukhara Nocturne
Ramos, Luis Arturo, 1947-
Villalobos, José Pablo, tr.
Othón, the Waiter Who Lost His Memory
Velasco, Magali.
Villalobos, José Pablo, tr.
You Are Here

Interviews
Rivas, José Luis, 1950-
Rowell, Charles H.
Martinez, Ana, tr.
An Interview with José Luis Rivas
Rodríguez, Roberto, 1959-
Rowell, Charles H.
Martinez, Ana, tr.
An Interview with Roberto Rodríguez
Velázquez, Manuel, 1968-
Rowell, Charles H.
Martinez, Ana, tr.
An Interview with Manuel Velázquez

Nonfiction
Fernández, Angel José, 1953-
Martinez, Ana, tr.
Veracruzan Poets
Villalobos, José Pablo.
Veracruz: Short Stories

The Art of Veracruz
Fematt, Miguel.
[Untitled]
Gonzalez, Manuel.
[Untitled]
González de León, Silvia.
[Untitled]
Jones, Marcus D.
[Untitled]
Rodríguez, Roberto, 1959-
Agua en movimiento, Bodegón, Construccion, Espigas de otoñ
Velázquez, Manuel, 1968-
El gigante amroroso, Entre amigos, Retrato de familia, Devastado


The Cultural Jewel of Mexico
The Editor's Introductory Note

The origin of this special issue of the journal is a chance encounter, which relates to a larger African Diaspora project I set for Callaloo soon after I moved to Texas during the autumn of 2000. While I was traveling in Xalapa, Mexico, in May 2001, Jorge Brash came to my hotel, Meson del Alferez, and requested that I meet in the lobby with him and José Homero, another poet from Veracruz. I had never visited in Xalapa before, so I was a bit startled when the two poets told me that they had heard I was "in town" and might be interested in talking with writers and other artists from the region. Because I knew no one in Xalapa, I was unsure how they had come to learn of my arrival. I soon discovered that what they really wanted to learn was whether I had an interest in publishing contemporary Mexican poets. They found out I was, for I had come to Mexico not only to meet and talk with citizens in Afromestizo pueblos, but to meet intellectuals, writers and other artists in the State of Veracruz who where doing work pertaining to people of African descent.

As our readers may know, Veracruz is both a state and the name of a city within the state. As a state, it forms a long and slender strip (south of the State of Tamaulipas and north of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Tabasco) down the central and most eastern front of the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, northwest of the Yucatan Peninsula. The capitol of Veracruz is Xalapa, a 4,000-foot high city of about 370,000 people in the foothills of Macuiltepetl, an inactive volcano. The gulf coast City of Veracruz, one of the most important ports in Mexico, is, however, the most populous in the state. Undoubtedly the most historic entry point into the country, this port city where Hernan Cortez began his conquest in 1519 has over 400,000 inhabitants. Veracruz is—in terms of music, dance, cuisine, and other cultural imperatives—more like the Caribbean and Brazil than the rest of Mexico. One might even be inclined to say that over the centuries almost all the world has met there. After all, it long served as the Spanish entry point into the country and later became the geographic site to which many enslaved Africans were introduced to Mexico. This multicultural, multiethnic, and multiracial city, like the rest of the State of Veracruz, is the cultural jewel of Mexico.

What Jorge Brash and José Homero did not know on that May afternoon is that the central purpose of my visit to Mexico was to research the life, history and culture of the Afromestizo people of the State of Veracruz for future issues of Callaloo. So when the two poets offered me some of their poems for publication in Callaloo, they did more than they, or I, knew at the time. They occasioned this special number of the journal, which is not an attempt to represent the range of poetry or other literary genres currently produced in the State of Veracruz. This number of Callaloo is merely a sampling of the contemporary poetry, prose fiction and visual art of the Mexican state. However, beginning with the 2004 winter issue focusing on the Afromestizo community Coyolillo, we will devote, for the next three or more years, one bilingual issue [End Page v] each year to people of African descent in Mexico whose ancestors were also victims of Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Because Jorge Brash seemed to have been the spokesman for a larger delegation at the hotel that day, I asked him not only to send me their poems but also to collect and send poems by other poets from Veracruz for publication consideration in a special section of a future issue of Callaloo.

After I received a number of poems, I talked about this project with Luis Arturo Ramos, a Mexican fiction writer teaching at the University of Texas in El Paso, and with my colleagues here at Texas A & M University—José Villalobos, a specialist on Mexican fiction in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Marco Portales, a scholar of American and Chicano texts in the Department of English. As a result, I concluded that it would better to expand the project and mount an entire Callaloo number on contemporary Veracruz, its creative literature and visual art.

Through my four research trips back to the State of Veracruz, I had learned much about the painting, sculpture and photography of that State, especially about Afromestizo life and culture. In addition to taping an interview with the poet José Luis Rivas, I conducted interviews with Manuel Velázquez and Roberto Rodríquez, visual artists whose work is also represented in this issue of Callaloo. I have also examined much of the photographic work of Miguel Fematt and Manuel Gonzáles. The only component missing from the planned special issue was prose fiction, a part of the project that José Villalobos has agreed to collect, select, and edit. What we have brought together in Callaloo's inaugural issue focusing on Mexico are selections from the materials we received.

While I am extremely pleased with this first issue in our new venture, I want to use this opportunity to invite our readers in Latin America to consider contributing their artistic efforts for possible publication in future issues.

It is my hope that this special issue will address one of the goals of Callaloo, which is to help further educate our readers in the United States about our neighbors to the south. I believe that this bilingual publication of the journal, along with those planned on Afromestizo communities, will introduce our readers to another crucial component of the African Diaspora, expanding Callaloo's dedication to our collective understanding of the Americas and the world.

Charles Henry Rowell

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