About Disquiet

The International Literary Program is a project of Dzanc Books, 501(c)(3). The ILP’s mission is to deepen mutual understanding between writers of North American and writers around the world and to broaden the landscape of North American literature and arts outside of the borders of North America.


Philip Graham presents Rádio Macau

From Rock Geek Chic

This show will be about one of the world's greatest rock bands that you never heard of, Rádio Macau. Why haven't you heard of them? Well, they're Portuguese, and the rock traditions of other countries, outside of England, don't travel easily to our country. It's our loss.

Go here to listen.


DISQUIET welcomes : Horacio Castellanos Moya 

The faculty list for DISQUIET 2012 just keeps getting better. This week, we're welcoming Horacio Castellanos Moya, who has been called one of the most important and challenging contemporary writers in the Spanish language. If you're not sure yet how excited you should be, reading an excerpt from Senselessness, the first of his nine novels to be translated into English, is a good place to start.  [Warning: May cause immediate purchase of Senselessness followed by an entire day of forgetting to eat].

If you're short on time, you could also read Scott Eposito's essay on Horacio Castellanos Moya and the New Politcal Novel at  The Quarterly Conversation, or this 2009 interview with New Directions.

Born in Honduras and raised in El Salvador, Castellanos Moya spent twelve years as a journalist in Mexico City and has lived in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Spain, Tokyo, and Germany. He currently lives in Pittsburgh. 

His other books currently available in English are  The She-Devil in the Mirror (New Directions, 2009),  Dance with Snakes (Biblioasis, 2009), and the recent  Tyrant Memory (New Directions, 2011).

An excerpt from Tyrant Memory is available, along with an interview with Chad W. Post, at Read This Next.


In Case You Missed It: Pseudonyms and Poker

Meanwhile, there's been a lot going on at the Facebook group. If you're not up for the avalanche of eye candy at The Coffee Experiment (“Coffee in Lisbon with Fernando Pessoa”), you might read an excerpt about Pessoa's heteronyms from Nom de Plume: A (Secret) History of Pseudonyms .

Then there's Colson Whitehead's “Occasional Dispatches from the Republic of Anhedonia”:


I was gonna play in the Big Game and give it my best shot. It was not the National Series of Poker, it was the World Series of Poker, and I would represent my country, the Republic of Anhedonia. We have no borders, but the population teems. No one has deigned to write down our history, but we are an ancient land, founded during the original disappointments, when the first person met another person. I would do it for my countrymen, the shut-ins, the doom-struck, the morbid of temperament, for all those who walk through life with poker faces 24/7 because they never learned any other way. For the gamblers of every socioeconomic station, working class, middle class, upper class, broke-ass; the sundry gamers 12 stories below, tossing chips into the darkness; for the Internet wraiths maniacally clicking before their LCDs in ill-lit warrens in Akron, Boise, and Bhopal, who should really get out more; for all the amateurs who need this game as a sacred refuge once a month, seek the sanctuary of draw and stud, where there are never any wild cards and you can count on a good hand every once in a while. For Big Mitch and Methy Mike, Robotron and the lady with the crimson hair, the ones who would kill to go to Vegas and will never make it there, my people all of them. Did I sound disdainful of them before? It was recognition you heard. I contain multitudes, most of them flawed.

Plus, I've always wanted to wear sunglasses indoors.

 The whole thing is available for free and you can read it from anywhere in the world. 


Disquiet Welcomes: Philip Graham


Philip Graham wants you to come to Lisbon. He wants you to be there so that you'll know what he's talking about in his dispatches for McSweeney's, now collected and expanded on his most recent book, The Moon, Come to Earth: Dispatches from Lisbon, published by University of Chicago Press, 2009. Julia Keller of the Chicago Tribune called it "like a living thing, filled with desire and uncertainty and joy and regret. . . the perfect companion as one contemplates those mysteries, those ceaseless journeys outward and inward.” You can read excerpts on his website (and stick around for his engaging blog).  

His essay The Pleasures of Saudade is a friendly primer on the diverse and exciting contemporary Portuguese music scene, complete with videos and links to music you will be very happy to have brought to your attention and very sorry to have gone this long without hearing.

Another reason to come to Lisbon: Philip Graham will be there. We're thrilled to welcome him to the faculty for DISQUIET 2012. 

The author of seven books, including two short story collections (Interior Design and The Art of the Knock) and The Vanishings, a collection of prose poems, Graham is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship, a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, two Illinois Arts Council grants, and the William Peden Prize in Fiction, as well as fellowship residencies at the MacDowell and Yaddo artist colonies. His novel How to Read an Unwritten Language (Scribner, 1995; paperback, Warner Books 1997), was nominated and longlisted for an International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He's also co-authored two memoirs with Alma Gottlieb,  Parallel Worlds, which won the 1993 Victor Turner Prize, and a second volume, Braided Worlds, forthcoming in 2012. A Portuguese translation of The Moon, Come to Earth will be published by Editorial Presença in February 2012.

He currently teaches in the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in writing, and at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he is co-founder and non-fiction editor of the  literary/arts journal Ninth Letter.

You can read Camden Luxford's recent interview with Philip about his experiences in Lisbon here, and Philip's thoughtful essay on reading, Every Day I Open a Book, on The Millions. Or, check out this video essay about Lisbon he made for Ninth Letter: Bring Me the Head of Diogo Alves! 

We're really glad to have Philip on board, and suspect you will be, too.



Disquiet welcomes Christine Hume

Things are getting exciting, everybody. Over the past couple weeks we've added three new writers to our 2012 faculty, all of them amazing. Check this blog and our Facebook page for more faculty updates and information as the weeks go by.

First to join up this month was poet Christine Hume, whose latest book, Shot (Counterpath, 2010) was described by Molly Bendall in Lana Turner as “electrifyingly gorgeous” and “so close to the spine of language . . .that it brings a psychic territory into stunning focus.” Steven Fama writes,

I recommend Shot highly, especially for those times at night when you are too long awake or maybe oddly up, when the mind and you and the dark seem the only things around, and the mind and you and the dark get going in some sort of lacerating almost heart-stopping sometimes ecstatic sometimes lacerating rush of thought and beauty and language.

You can read additional reviews of Shot here and here.

Hume's other books are Musca Domestica (Beacon Press, 2000), winner of the 1999 Barnard New Women Poet's Prize, and Alaskaphrenia, (New Issues, 2004). She is also the author of two chapbooks Lullaby: Speculations on the First Active Sense (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2008) and Ventifacts (Omnidawn, 2012). A bilingual German edition of Selected Poems is forthcoming from Lux Books in Berlin in 2012.

Christine Hume was one of two Americans invited to an international festival, “Days of Poetry and Wine” in Slovenia in 2002; in 2006, she taught a poetry workshop in St. Petersburg for Summer Literary Seminars. She has received residencies from Fundacion Valaparaiso in Spain, the Wurlizter Foundation in New Mexico, MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her work is widely published and anthologized by Scriber’s, Wesleyan University Press, Sarabande Books, Verse Press, University of Iowa, Fence Books, University of Georgia, Palgrave Macmillan, and Carnegie Mellon University Press. 

In 2005, she was interviewed by the then-thriving poet-interviewing site Here Comes Everybody (Warning: Link may eat several days of your life).

She currently teaches for and directs the innovative interdisciplinary Creative Writing Program at Eastern Michigan University, where she hosts Poetry Radio.