Poetry, translation

Two poems on bullfighting by Jack Little

Two poems on bullfighting by Jack Little
with Spanish versions by Fer de la Cruz
(in the context of bullfighting being banned in a growing number Mexican states)


A Lament for Ponciano Díaz
after Federico García Lorca

In the ganadería de Atenco
Ponciano Díaz´s father fought bulls
with a cloth in one hand and his child in the other.

In the evenings, his brother would sit on the other side of the room
the semi-darkness of the setting sun would leave half shadows:
the day´s sandy footprints, the dry spittle at the side of the old man´s mouth.

Tonight proclaims his fate is preordained
under the breath of a thousand secret voices:
some of us dwell in our passions more than others.

But before the stain of crimsons spines, and viscera between his sequins
the sunrise will be another part-renewal, grown boastful with swollen pride

the fight is in his veins.


Lamento por Ponciano Díaz
A la manera de Lorca

En la ganadería de Atenco sucedió:
el padre de Ponciano lidiaba con los toros,
capota en una mano, el niño en otra.

Por las tardes, su hermano se sentaba al lado opuesto en la misma habitación
en tanto la semi penumbra del sol al ponerse dejaba medias sombras:
las arenosas huellas de ese día, las comisuras tiesas de su padre
con un reseco rastro de saliva.

Esta noche proclama su destino
al aliento de mil voces secretas:
algunos habitamos las pasiones mejor que algunos otros.

Pero antes de que el traje de luces sea opacado por las manchas de víscera escarlata,
el sol, renovador de amaneceres, engreído de su orgullosa pompa

será uno con la lidia fluyendo por sus venas.


1st poem


Poem 2




 From Jack Little´s Elsewhere (20/20 EYEWEAR PAMPLET SERIES, 2015)


* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Jack Little is a British poet who has lived in Mexico City since 2010 where he works as a primary school teacher. He won the Titchfield Shakespeare Poetry Competition in 2013 and is the founding editor of The Ofi Press. His work has been widely published in the UK and in Mexico.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *


painting by Kreso Cavlovic


A Different Theory of Everything: Janne Teller in Mérida

by Fer de la Cruz

Janne Tellerphoto by Mirza Herrera

As Janne Teller told and retold her story to various Yucatecan reporters, I kept thinking how cool she was. She talked about how modern slavery and other forms of abuse were derived from the average person´s misuse of the big or little power she or he may have, and how stories can be made to move forward from such everyday horrors. In Mérida, students and the elderly are powerless before the omnipotent bus driver who decides not to stop for them—or for me, in many instances—so that she or he can rush through the yellow light. Hence, I could relate to her message.

I had been asked to serve as interpreter so that the local media could interview her. Her book of short stories Todo (Seix Barral, 2014)—along with a pile of other brand new books from other authors—had been given to me the night before as a symbolic payment for my task, done with great pleasure for the friend who requested this of me. Exhausted as I was after the first day at this year´s Festival Internacional de la Lectura en Yucatán (FILEY), in which I was both a speaker and an exhibitor, I devoured the first two (and a half) stories before I was blessed with the gift of a good half-night´s sleep. Days after the book fair´s craze, as I finished Todo, I was happy to recommend it to friends.

The short stories contained in Todo are mostly narrated in the voices of various young, troubled characters. They remind me of García Márquez´ concept of solitude as a chronic incapacity for loving. Teller´s message is one of empathy within the todo found “al otro lado de la soledad” (p. 135). She aims to promote awareness and communication—a dangerous thing in the eyes of totalitarian wannabes and factual dictators alike. In her stories, a given opinion, situation, or political stand, is set in a certain context, only to reappear, later in the story, in a different context. This works beautifully as both a literary device and as a means of inviting the reader to simply reflect on human decisions and the motivations behind them.

The contrast between the glammed-up photo of Ms. Teller that tops her bio on the book and the real woman who presents more of a scholarly look (as someone who cares more about books than about fashion trends), just emphasized her previously-stated “coolness.” Jetlagged as she had to be, she would kindly ask to be left alone between interviews, which I respected, somehow pitying her for the burden of fame upon her shoulders. The presentation of Todo, the next day, was a hit, attended by three or four hundred people, if my calculations are correct. As I saw her signing her books for a long, long line of readers, I couldn´t help but pity her again—not, of course, without a little envy. A good kind of envy, if there is one.

I failed to read the notes in Diario de Yucatán, La Jornada, and other media, but was still moved by her reflections on the role that a ruthless Capitalism has played on multiplying misery around the world, and about the power that everyone holds to affect one´s own environment, for the better or for the worse. Her belief that Literature can open the minds of many in this regard is what motivated her to write, she said. I also failed to ask her how her name is pronounced, but that´s beside the point.

Before she became a writer, Janne Teller worked for the United Nations in Mozambique, Tanzania, Bangladesh, the Balkans, and other places where atrocities have been committed in recent years—as in my poor Mexico where she has only visited. Her depiction of some countries in her stories—Mexico included—is not exactly that which the Ministry of Tourism of those countries would chose to portray, but there is nada they can do about it other than to ban her books, as some have. What better honor can one have than a tyrant´s ban? Little do they know, this has made her books all the more popular.

New residents of any place are often victims of bullying by locals who find in them the perfect scapegoat, as it´s easy to target one´s fears, frustrations, and insecurities on those who speak “funny” or look foreign. Mérida has become an attractive destination for foreign and domestic immigrants. People from Cuba, Belize, and Guatemala and also from rural and urban Mexico have chosen to reside here. Yucatecans´ traditional, self-proclaimed hospitality is being put to the test. In Janne Teller´s stories, multiculturalism is seen by different characters as either a burden or a gift to a society. These characters may not find it easy to communicate with each other, but they are able to with the reader, who cannot help but empathize with the latter.

After all the suffering she has witnessed, my guess is that it is not Ms. Teller´s desire to be rich, or famous, or glamorous, or even cool, but to be read. I am happy that she is, and that many Yucatecans are enjoying her stories and reflecting on the beautiful, mystical concept of Todo: “a space of peace and harmony where fear does not exist.”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Fer de la Cruz, MA is a Yucatecan poet born in Monterrey, México, in 1971. He was a member of the founding faculty at the School of Creative Writing of the State Center of Fine Arts, in Mérida. He is the coordinator of the historic Mérida branch of Centro de Idiomas del Sureste. As an independent editor, writer, and cultural consultant ad honorem, he participated in cultural festivals, conferences and book fairs in France, Cuba, and the United States, as well as in various states of México. His poetic works appeared in La cuenta regresiva: Radiografía urbana mesozoica (chapbook, satire, El Drenaje, 2012), Aliteletras. De la A a la que quieras (book for children, Dante, 2011), Redentora la voz (book, Ayuntamiento de Mérida, 2010), and Seven Songs of Silent, Singing Fireflies (chapbook, JK Publishing, 2008), as well as in literary magazines and anthologies. As a translator of poetry, he has published Aquí/Here, by Jonathan Harringnton (JK Publishing, 2011) and Candidates for Sainthood and Other Sinners/Aprendices de santo y otros pecadores, by Don Cellini (Mayappla Press, 2013). He has received 2 national, 2 regional, and 1 state-wide poetry awards. His main passions are poetry (which he often finds in theatre, music, film…), language teaching made fun, and the constant discovery of the flavors, shapes, and depths of human life. His full name is Luis Fernando de la Cruz Herrera, but don´t tell anyone.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Todo - cover


Unitedstatesians and other poems

by Fer de la Cruz




They speak every language in the world in their cities

and they read all the literatures in their libraries.

Their visits to the moon don´t impress me much.


Their moonshine is out of this world,

sweet as the white corn they invented.

They harvest the best apples from their fields.

They have good wine and cheese, bourbon, and microbeer.


They have lawyers and doctors washing dishes

—those who don´t speak the language.

At home, dishwashers are illiterate.


They´re puritan as Muslims—many are Muslims, Buddhists, Catholic,

or even devout pagans—except for those who´re not.


They´re racist as everyone else,

but they´ll admit it. And many fight for equality,

collect signatures, change laws, and such…


True, they always have a war: some fight in it while others are against it.

Very unlike us, they trust their institutions.

I don´t picture them as subjects to a foreign monarch,

like Australians, Belizeans, or Canadians.

They value their own dynasties

but not more than backyard barbecue.


They have frybread, pita bread, tortillas, and samosas, falafels, empanadas…

They have all of us too—my uncles, aunts, and cousins who are American

and celebrate Thanksgiving, and hyphenate their names, which is also my name.

So I can´t say I don´t love them.


Now they´re aiming for Mars

which belongs to the universe and all.

Next, they´ll claim it as their own

like I´m claiming this piece of American Literature

as my own.



Trace of Mona Lisa


A smiley face next to the line I like.

This one came out with quite a smirk.

I read the line as I recall

the dwelling for my cat when I was, nine?

who redefines me

each time I feel his whiskers on my lap

as in a dream

or as your eyes tonight

or as this amber flame

containing the rejoicing of shooting stars.


O do I love this line!

which makes me wonder what my face looks like

this moment as I chant.


Heavenly Epic of Cats and Dogs


It´s raining cats and dogs.

The barking falls as thunder. The

cats´ eyes resemble lightning. And the


the cats flashing their paws as they

keep balance midair;

the dogs displaying their teeth

while spinning in the sky,

Chihuahuas and Great Danes

equally terrified.


Each battle is won by cats;

aerodynamic instinct makes them experts

on hitting solid ground.


But those poor dogs, o dear!

I hope there really is

a heaven for them all.





Nothing is really happening.

That car did not go by

Nor did we hear the bell of the ice-cream vendor.

We don´t see façades in flowery colors.

Nobody is roasting beef

while listening to cumbia on the radio,

urgeing grackles to grack between the branches

that are not being shaken

by non-existing wind.

Even these tiny ants

are not making the ground move in the shade

that isn´t here. A-ah.


The only real thing is all around us,

among us, inside us,

before and after us,

if you´re a voice of faith.


The problem


to find it.



Fernando de la Cruz Herrera (Yucatán, México, 1971) holds an MA in Spanish from Ohio University and a BA in Philosophy. As an independent editor, writer, and cultural promoter, he has participated in cultural festivals, conferences, and book fairs in Mexico, Cuba, France, and the United States. His poems appeared in the books “Redentora la voz” (Ayuntamiento de Mérida, 2010), “Aliteletras. De la a a la que quieras” (Dante, 2011, in print), “Sabotaje a la che y otros poemas de martitologio” (2012, Instituto de Cultura de Yucatán, announced) and in the chapbook “Seven Songs of Silent, Singing Fireflies” (JKPublishing, 2008). He has received two national, one regional, and one state-wide poetry awards in Mexico. His main passions are poetry (which he often finds in theatre, music, film…), language teaching made fun, and the constant discovery of the flavors, shapes, and depths of human life / delacrux@hotmail.com.

Fer recently won 1st prize in the Premio Regional de Poesia Jose Diaz Bolio, 2011, sponsored by Patronato Pro Historia Peninsular, $10,000 pesos, his second time. The first was in 2003.

And 2nd place in the Premio Estatal de Literatura Infantil Elvia Rodriguez Cirerol, 2011, sponsored by Instituto de Cultura de Yucatan, $5,000 pesos.


photo by Kristi Harms


The literary scene in Yucatan

by Fer de la Cruz


In the state of Yucatán, where decentralization is only a political slogan, literary things happen mostly in its capital city: Mérida. In a way, things are rocking among the chaos of UNESCO´s “City of Peace”: 2 schools of creative writing have been founded within the past 3 years: 1) Escuela de Creación Literaria (where I teach) of the State Institute of Fine Arts, in which Spanish and Mayan-speaking adults earn a 3-year degree in Creative Writing, and workshops are offered for children and teenagers. 2) Escuela de Escritores Leopoldo Peniche Vallado belongs to the State Institute of Culture (ICY), which is currently in the process of becoming a Ministry—so much for descentralización! Both schools are inconveniently located in the same building, across from the zoo. On the other hand, two universities, one public, one private, have been graduating Literature majors for a decade. And there´s a number of private workshops throughout town.

Back to the issue of centralism, the only living Yucatecan writers who have been truly influential (big names like Agustín Monsreal and Raúl Renán) have resided in Mexico City for decades. Also, Raúl Cáceres Carenzo resides in Toluca; Jorge Pech in Oaxaca; Reyna Echeverría in New York… Among those who reside within the state borders are those who are native Yucatecans (Francisco Lope Ávila, Roger Metri, Jorge Lara, José Díaz Cervera, Lourdes Cabrera, and Mayan writer Feliciano Sánchez Chan, to name some) and those born elsewhere who must be considered a part of the community of Yucatecan writers, such as Cuban-born Raúl Ferrera Balanquet and maestro Jonathan Harrington, who calls himself Orgullosamente yucagringo.

There are two main independent groups of writers: Centro Yucateco de Escritores, A.C. (CYEAC), which was created over 2 decades ago, has been hosting an on-going workshop, a magazine (Navegaciones Zur), an has its own publisher (Ediciones Zur). Also, five years ago or so, la Red Literaria del Sureste was created as an alternative. Some politically active writers from both groups hold public offices. There are also those with academic credentials in literature, such as Manuel Iris, Ph.D. candidate; Jafet Israel Lara, Ph.D. candidate; Cristina Leirana, M.A., and your humble Fer de la Cruz, M.A. The rest have never heard of Terry Eagleton.

There are lots of writers, it seems. The problem is, local bookstores show little interest in marketing their works. To publish a book, one may submit it to the editorial council of either ICY or Ayuntamiento de Mérida. If selected, the book will be published but not necessarily promoted. One may also try her/his luck in state or nation-wide literary contests for money and/or publication. Librerías Dante sponsored 2 contests for publication. The second batch of 10 authors from all three states of the Yucatan Peninsula is being published this year. Other than that, there is no such thing as agents or talent-hunters, and big name publishers appear only on display, especially for those who lack political connections.

So, how do local writers earn their daily bread? They pray: Some pray to God; some (with political connections) prey on smaller fish. Those who don´t hold a public office may have steady jobs in private institutions. There are those with two, three, or even four part-time teaching jobs, whose paychecks (in the case of public schools) may be delayed for periods of five months year after year. Some writers may be asked to present a book, write a prologue, or preside over a public event without pay. Some others are invited to jury in a literary contest, with pay—the honest ones are seldom called for the latter.

New generations of local writers are starting to emerge. Also, new generations of critics are earning degrees in literature. There is hope that these young professionals learn to separate art and politics and that the way things are may actually be challenged without losing one´s job.

Better laugh than cry in México´s “safest city.” Following the steps of maestro Agustín Monsreal, I have become a satirist who hopes not to have disappointed the readers with my view on things, since writing is my way of making the world a better place.





photo by Dan Griffin

Poetry, translation

La Doncella

by Nancy Ann Schaefer


It is known that the Incas who conquered the indigenous tribes of the Andes chose the sons and daughters of local rulers and particularly attractive children for sacrifice.

—Mark Henderson


She sleeps, this woman-child

fifteen growing seasons tall

clothed in finest fabric

intricate woven patterns

plaited belt, striped slippers

signal chosen status, perfect


La Doncella, sweet Doncella

without blemish, this woman-child

unaltered and unaged; falling past

round shoulders, hair the color

of coca seeds before fruity bloom,

carefully braided, perfect


Seated cross-legged, her moon

face tilts forward, chin

resting softly on still chest

like a hummingbird tucked

under its downy wing,

she sleeps the deep sleep

of youth, perfect


Year-long preparation

ceremonial food to fatten,

sumptuous charki, maize and chicha

then pilgrimage from capital Cuzco

arduous ascent up Llullaillaco

volcanic home of Incan gods

did she know that she was perfect?


Entombed as frozen sacrifice

timeless and unmoving

she sleeps the deep sleep

of death, this woman-child

this Andes maid at summit shrine

this gift to sky gods, perfect

She haunts my dreams, her spectral

voice tinkles like hand-bells

at high mass, hanging in rarefied air;

once cradled in the crook of loving

arms, beheld in birthing bed—exquisite

her mother knew that she was perfect


Did she join silent ancestors

keeping watch

insuring crops

from mountaintop altar

like an angel, perfect?




La doncella

Versión al español: Fer de la Cruz


Se sabe que los incas, conquistadores de las tribus de los Andes, elegían a los hijos e hijas de gobernantes locales —particularmente a niños atractivos— para su sacrificio.

—Mark Henderson

Esta mujer, eterna niña, duerme,

a sus quince estaciones de estatura,

de finísimas telas ataviada

—intricados motivos,

el cinturón trenzado, las sandalias a rayas—

en señal del estatus elegido: perfecto.


Doncella, dulce doncella

sin mancha, mujer niña,

intacta y sin edad, ayer caído

en curvatura de hombros y cabellos

de semilla de coca aún sin germinar,

acicalado en trenzas y perfecto.


Aun cruzada de piernas,

con su cara de luna hacia adelante,

barbilla que reposa sobre el pecho

—recuerda un picaflor acurrucado

en su propio plumaje de alborada—

duerme en sueño profundo

siempre joven, perfecta.


Tras la preparación, un año entero

—maíz ceremonial para la engorda,

suntuoso charqui, cántaros de chicha—,

tras el peregrinaje desde Cuzco,

tras el tortuoso ascenso al Llullaillaco

—hogar de dioses incas—,

¿se sabría perfecta?


En sacrificio helado sepultada

atemporal, inmóvil,

duerme el sueño profundo de la muerte

esta mujer, aun niña, esta doncella

de los Andes, altísimo santuario,

a los dioses del cielo, esta ofrenda perfecta.





Merodea mis sueños y su voz espectral,

como la campanilla de la misa,

pulula sobre el aire enrarecido.

Alguna vez habrá sido arrullada

en amorosos brazos y en su cuna exquisita

la habrán acariciado los ojos de su madre

quien la sabía perfecta.


¿Habrá podido unirse a la quietud de sus ancestros?

¿Seguirá vigilante

en pos de las cosechas

desde un altar de cúspide

como un ángel perfecto?




Nancy Ann Schaefer lives near the Mississippi river with her husband, dog and three cats. She was a finalist for the Max J. Molleston Award and her poems have appeared (or are forthcoming) in a number of anthologies and journals, including Off Channel, The Rockford Review, Numinous, Outloud IV, Struggle, and Women’s Voices Journal. Her first chapbook, “In Search of Lode” (918studio) is due out in September. “La Doncella” (in English) first appeared in Off Channel (2011).


Poetry, translation

Tulum and other poems

by Fer de la Cruz



To write, I heard you need

to find an ideal spot.

A beach in the Caribbean

will invoke all the muses who´ll descend

from deepest and most joyous blue skies,

or they´ll appear by swimming and as nude

among the foam of turquoise,

so I heard.


Then you will grab your pen

and poetry will flow,

one verse per wave,

one word per grain of sand upon your skin,

a master metaphor for every leaf

of palm tree shaken by the breeze.


It doesn´t work for me.

Attempts shattered, scarred on rocks,

ideas blown asunder,

my thoughts snarled in sargazo weed.

The ocean nearly drowned me.

All these muses

don´t even look at me.

All I´m getting is sunburn

and sand scratching my crotch.


Another Scotch, garçon!

before I dissolve into prose.




Breakfast at Xpakay


To Jonathan Harrington


“Time for a healthy breakfast”, as they say,

starting with café, bacon, galletas,

the songs of birds by the hundreds—

one chachalaca yelling from a treetop:

“Keep-it-up, keep-it-up, keep-it-up!”

as the chorus replies:

“Cut-it-out, cut-it-out, cut-it-out!” *

The chuck-will´s-widow singing:



Of course the conversation about birds

is part of breakfast at Xpakay

with the smell of firewood

and chicken al carbón, Harrington style

as the breeze rakes the trees.


“And then we´re reading poetry?—You say—

at 9:30 in the morning?

That´s not normal. What´s wrong with you two poets?”

—You keep babbling and babbling

worst than a chachalaca

as you open your second can of beer.


* Dr. A. A. Allen´s description of the Plain Chcachalaca´s “chicken like crackle”, as quoted by Roger Terry Peterson and Edward L. Chalif in “Mexican Birds” (The Easton Press, 1984), found in Jonathan Harrington´s personal library at Hacienda Xpakay, any given morning in rural Yucatán, México.



They Might Think that I Am an Angel

English translation by Jonathan Harrington


God gave me an editing job.

Between dreams I would mark the errors,

all the way from a primordial Alpha

to an impending Omega still under construction.

I saw the universe in rough draft.

There was very little love in long paragraphs of human history.

The most serious errors were ones of conscience

but those were left uncorrected—

well, it was not my job.

Human acts, like it or not,

are indelible.


Today an angel revealed to me

that my check was not yet ready;

it had to be approved by Saint Peter,

who willed to Judas the accounts of heaven

and on the other hand, the pay would be eternal

when Creation is finally finished.

And in the meantime—how do I live?

How do I eat? With what do I pay rent or transportation?

Who will save me later from the Purgatory of the credit bureau?


Now I understand why they say we are made in the image of God.

On Earth, everything is the same. But I´m not lifting my red pen.

I throw into the fire all my corrections.

Let them solve their own problems.


I hope humanity will correct itself

if it believes in a Destiny poorly written in some dead language

with that beginning and end imposed from above,

in the endless spiral of time

where no one is in the least interested

if I am paid or not.




Creerán que soy un ángel


Le hice a Dios un trabajo de corrección de estilo.

Entre sueños señalé las erratas

del Alfa milenaria al ya cercano Omega aún en construcción.

Vi el Universo, hecho a la carrera.

Había muy poco amor en largos párrafos del devenir humano.

Los errores más graves eran los de conciencia

pero estos los dejé sin señalar

pues no era mi función; total

los actos, quiéralo o no, son indelebles.


Hoy me revela un ángel

que mi cheque no va a salir aún:

debe ser aprobado por San Pedro,

quien heredó de Judas las cuentas celestiales,

y que en cambio, mi paga será eterna

cuando haya concluido la Creación.

¿Y mientras de qué vivo,

qué como, con qué pago la renta y el transporte…?

¿Quién me redime luego del purgatorio de un buró de crédito?


Ahora entiendo por qué dicen que somos

a imagen y semejanza del Creador.

En la Tierra es igual. Pero ya no muevo un dedo.

Eché al fuego el trabajo corregido

y que vean cómo le hacen.


La Humanidad que se corrija sola

si cree en un Destino

malescrito en algún idioma muerto

con principio y final impuestos desde lo alto,

en la espiral eterna de los tiempos

en donde no interesa en lo más mínimo

si me pagan o no.




Fernando de la Cruz Herrera (Yucatán, México, 1971) holds an MA in Spanish from Ohio University and a BA in Philosophy. As an independent editor, writer, and cultural promoter, he has participated in cultural festivals, conferences, and book fairs in Mexico, Cuba, France, and the United States. His poems appeared in the books “Redentora la voz” (Ayuntamiento de Mérida, 2010), “Aliteletras. De la a a la que quieras” (Dante, 2011), “Sabotaje a la che y otros poemas de martirologio” (Secretaría de la Cultura y las Artes de Yucatán, in print) and in the chapbook “Seven Songs of Silent, Singing Fireflies” (JKPublishing, 2008). He has received two national, two regional, and one state-wide poetry awards in Mexico. His main passions are poetry (which he often finds in theatre, music, film…), language teaching made fun, and the constant discovery of the flavors, shapes, and depths of human life / delacrux@hotmail.com.


Bilingual, Poetry

Trespasser Shoes and other poems

by César Love


Trespasser Shoes

Shoes perfect for the fastest dance
Shoes so cool
Even jaywalkers swoon.
Shoes that scale barbed wire
Two taps and you’re invisible
To every cop and guard.
Shoes that violate the dress code
Shoes that never came in a box.
The shoes that skip over stairs
That short-circuit escalators
Three taps and you leap above
Foul lines, flag poles, border checkpoints.
Trespasser shoes
Polished with a darker shade of saint.
Hiding in your closet
Waiting to walk on water.


Trespasser Shoes

Versión al español: Fer de la Cruz

Idóneos zapatos para el baile más veloz,

tan chéveres

que incluso los peatones que cruzan carreteras acaban extasiados;

zapatos que trascienden las púas de los alambres:

dos golpes de tacón y te vuelves invisible

a los ojos de la migra y patrullas fronterizas;

zapatos desafiantes de códigos de ropa;
zapatos que no vienen en cajas de zapatos

y vuelan por encima de escaleras,

y que incluso provocan algún corto circuito

por la escalera eléctrica que esté sobrevolando:

tres golpes de tacón y ya trasciendes
interminables colas, astas de las banderas y retenes;

zapatos para entradas ilegales

boleados con oscura piel de santo

ocultos en tu clóset, en espera del momento

de caminar también sobre las aguas.



The Slowest Dance


What child is not enthralled by the pendulum’s easy swing?

The rolling advance and return of the Jupiter ball.


When the wine in autumn seeps dry, our eyes bind to the staff.

Will it topple at next rush? Should we align with the coup?


Lean forward from the lawn chair and dissect the noonday sky.

Will the fog brim to rain? Will it ever retreat to blue?


Migrate to wildflower meadows. Follow the Carnival.

Advance the tape to the rapture of a favorite song.


But return to the green of your birth and stroll sleeveless in rain.

Drink there and sing to a quiet song of the slowest dance.





I only know your letters, your voice

The pictures show more gloss than you


Trust me to see your face

Without make-up, without neon


I’ll take you to my hidden place

And trust you with the map


A cratered street with broken lamps

We’ll beam beneath each other’s rays



Wedding Presents


To the certain couple

In uncertain times


When the street noise whelms

Give them a ladder to the rooftop garden


When shrapnel falls

Give them a veil from the world we witness


When the sky blackens

Give them the stars, wishful, eternal


To the certain couple

In uncertain times


Give them a drum, sonorous and large

One rhythm that weds four hands


To the certain couple

In uncertain times


Give them our thank you

For their weather of hope cascading upon us


César Love is a Latino poet influenced by the Asian masters. A resident of San Francisco’s Mission District and an editor of the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, he has worked as a reporter and taught creative writing to recipients of general assistance. His book While Bees Sleep will soon be published by CC. Marimbo Press. He first fell in love with Merida when he was eleven years old. He had the great pleasure of staying there for three weeks of April.


Art by Judith Shaw


Two Poets and a Dancer Suing Mexico: A Dancing Metaphor of Arts and Politics

by Fer de la Cruz


I don’t want my government to get away with extortion, especially when it is done to me. So this is my personal story regarding Mexico´s hottest issues: public education and human rights. For months I haven´t been paid in my job as a professor of Creative Writing for a public school of arts. So I am suing. Yes it is possible to sue the government in Mexico and, despite retaliations, it is possible to win. I was writing this to share with readers of In Other Words: Mérida right as the national leader of Mexico´s largest teacher´s union was about to be arrested on charges of embezzlement, as The New York Times was reporting on the hundreds of disappearances by Mexican police and military forces, as I was receiving kind invitations to work without pay at this year´s International Book Fair in Mérida (FILEY), and as I was worrying about how I would pay this month´s rent.

Beside the disappearances, the beatings in the prisons, the illegal arrests, the irregular trials, and the horrors of that sort which are not always publicized in the newspapers but one would expect to occur in a developing country, what is probably the most subtle but prevalent of human rights violations committed by the Mexican government against its citizens is the withholding of payment earned by workers in the public sector, particularly in schools. This is an account of my own such experience here in the state of Yucatan, Mexico, as founding professor at the School of Creative Writing at Yucatan´s State Center of Fine Arts—a nearly one-hundred-year-old institution locally known as Bellas Artes—after I, with some colleagues, decided to sue.

Many of the professors within Mexico´s huge public education system saw St. Valentine´s Day go by without having yet received September´s paycheck. Year after year, this is the reality of Mexico’s adjunct professors: 1) that their new 10-month contract is finally authorized—in which case they get their late payments all at once—or 2) less often, but not unheard of in Bellas Artes, that their new contract is not authorized by the Secretary of Education and the time that they already worked will not be paid. From this perspective, slavery is still taking place in Mexico.

To prevent this, in July 2012, thirteen of Bellas Artes´ employees (two from the administration and eleven faculty members of various arts) placed a lawsuit demanding tenure from the Secretary of Education, to which Bellas Artes belongs. The initiative came from Leticia Sánchez Vargas, professor of Mexican folk dance who has been teaching there for fourteen years. On more than one occasion, Maestra Leticia obtained excellent marks on her tenure examination, only to discover later that new teachers, including her own former students, were being hired by the newly appointed principal and entered Bellas Artes as tenured faculty.

This school year, due to the transition between the old and new State governor, payment came early in Bellas Artes. Except for those thirteen listed as plaintiffs within the July lawsuit, every non-tenured worker received their payment and contract in October. Shortly after, we and our lawyers found out that a group of teachers and the two workers from the administration had withdrawn from the lawsuit. The entire faculty of the Jazz Dance department then decided to step down in support of their coordinator who, reportedly, had been threatened with losing her job if her teachers and staff did not line up with Bellas Artes´ higher authorities. Other teachers were simply offered more teaching hours. At least one was legitimately afraid that she would lose her teaching job at a different official institution.

In any case, the extortion continued. Bellas Artes´ principal, Maestra Rita Castro Gamboa, summoned most of the “rebellious” teachers to her office, one by one, with a simple offer. If, while within her presence, teachers chose to call the Secretary of Education´s legal services office and withdraw from the lawsuit, in return, she would immediately authorize the release of the paychecks withheld and extend them new ten-month contracts. She kept her word in most cases and her method proved effective, reducing the number of dissidents from thirteen to the current three. The last one to abandon the lawsuit, in January of this year, was a professor of contemporary dance who had to pay her mortgage or lose her house. She has taught at Bellas Artes for seven years.

In the meantime, those who remained party to the lawsuit continued to teach but without pay. The three who remain are: Lety Sánchez from Mexican folkdance, and from Creative Writing, Francisco Lope Ávila and myself. Maestro Lope is quite knowledgeable of the issues mentioned in the opening line as he happens to be a member of the Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights. Unlike the many professors suing the government in the State of Yucatan alone, we´ve gone public. However, there are some local journalists, artists, and intellectuals who hesitate to take a stand, perhaps out of fear of losing their jobs or isolating their influential contacts.

The Mexican League for the Defense of Human Rights, member of the International Federation for Human Rights, has already sent a letter to Yucatan´s new Governor, dated Dec. 10, 2012, urging him to instruct the State Secretary of Education, Dr. Raúl Godoy Montañez, and Bellas Artes´ principal, among others, to immediately cease violations of both criminal and labor laws as well as the Human Rights of Bellas Artes´ professors.

As for me, after having worked enough semesters for a paternalist government, I’ve transformed from lyric poet to satirist (as Quevedo did), believing that it’s better to laugh than cry. Along with Lety & Lope, I am actually enjoying this ongoing legal process, painful though the lack of an income may be, because we are proving to ourselves and others in our situation that something can be done. And as we fly among the uncertain winds of politics (here´s the dancing metaphor), Lope and I are looking for a publisher who might be interested in the wonderful poems written by the children and other students of all ages who have attended our classes and workshops for the past four-and-a-half years since we founded Bellas Artes´ School of Creative Writing. And we stand at ease, knowing that the law is on our side and that our lawyers have proven to be far more efficient than those of the State government, in our tropical corner of this developing country (which is still quite safe for tourists), where we are proudly making a difference in what our principles dictate as wrong.




Fer de la Cruz is a Yucatecan poet born in 1971. He has received two national, two regional, and one state-wide poetry awards in Mexico and is a member of the founding faculty at the School of Creative Writing of the State Center of Fine Arts, in Mérida. He is also coordinator of the Historic Mérida branch of Centro de Idiomas del Sureste, where he was a teacher for 20 years. He holds an MA in Spanish from Ohio University and a BA in Philosophy. As an independent editor, writer, translator, and cultural promoter, he has participated in cultural festivals, conferences, and book fairs in Mexico, Cuba, France, and the United States. His poems appeared in the books “Redentora la voz” (Ayuntamiento de Mérida, 2010) and “Aliteletras. De la A a la que quieras” (Dante, 2011), as well as in the chapbooks “La cuenta regresiva. Radiografía urbana mesozoica” (El Drenaje, 2012) and “Seven Songs of Silent, Singing Fireflies” (JKPublishing, 2008): delacrux@hotmail.com.


an essay by fer de la cruz_Painting Juan Pablo Bavio detail from  CABEZA CANSADA

Painting: Juan Pablo Bavio – detail from  CABEZA CANSADA

Poetry, translation

Variations of myself in two allotments

by Raúl Renán

translated by Fer de la Cruz


One only eye takes care of my surroundings,
with no fixed point, the landscape covering
my body —– can be heard.

By going around with words said for the grass
of birds, while the pinpointed structure of the poem
on the tip of my pencil… can be read.

By juggling every gesture on both hands
upon finding oneself among opposite maneuvers
of dialogic writing. Coming from each
side of the conversation, converted wide
and left and with its own
eloquent accents: as one that
tosses on the floor the other´s say,
as the other is brought by its pulse,
rightfully clockwise
sure of itself while growing on its distance
from the first. Both may be continuity:
adjoining, never! Disjoining, yes!
But less and less
never the


Variaciones de mí en dos medidas

Un solo ojo cuida mi derredor,
sin lugar fijo el paisaje cubre
mi cuerpo —– se oye.

Ir diciendo palabras para el pasto
de los pájaros, y en la punta de mi lápiz
la estructura afilada del poema… se lee.

Andar a dos manos los gestos al encontrarse
en las maniobras opuestas de una
escritura dialógica. Vienen de ambos
lados los parlamentos parlados
a diestra y siniestra con sus propios
acentos elocuentes: uno que trae
tirando el decir contrario y otro
que viene del pulso a derechas
con certeza a modo de alejarse
del otro. Los dos pueden ser continuidad:
no contiguos, sí sintiguos
no obstante.





Raúl Renán (Mérida, 1928) is one of Yucatán´s major living poets. He grew up in Mérida but moved to Mexico City fifty years ago, where he was an editor and a workshop maestro of generations. Most famous for his experimental works, Raúl Renán is author of more than 40 titles of poetry and fiction, such as Catulinarias y Sáficas (1981), De las queridas cosas (1982), La gramática fantástica (1983), Viajero en sí mismo (1991), and Los silencios de Homero (1998).

Fer de la Cruz is a Yucatecan poet born in 1971. He has received two national, two regional, and one state-wide poetry awards in Mexico and is a member of the founding faculty at the School of Creative Writing of the State Center of Fine Arts, in Mérida. He is also coordinator of the Historic Mérida branch of Centro de Idiomas del Sureste, where he was a teacher for 20 years. He holds an MA in Spanish from Ohio University and a BA in Philosophy. As an independent editor, writer, translator, and cultural promoter, he has participated in cultural festivals, conferences, and book fairs in Mexico, Cuba, France, and the United States. His poems appeared in the books “Redentora la voz” (Ayuntamiento de Mérida, 2010) and “Aliteletras. De la A a la que quieras” (Dante, 2011), as well as in the chapbooks “La cuenta regresiva. Radiografía urbana mesozoica” (El Drenaje, 2012) and “Seven Songs of Silent, Singing Fireflies” (JKPublishing, 2008): delacrux@hotmail.com.

around and about_Art by Sheila Lanham

painting by Sheila Lanham

theater, translation

Hunting Guide

By murmurante teatro




There is a borderline that, on some occasions, is presented for us to decide whether or not to cross it. It is a threshold. To cross it is to transit from one reality to another. When you cross that threshold, you´re no longer the same.

All of us here have once found ourselves in front of certain thresholds which fascinate us, scare us and before which the hunter or the pray, the wrong doer or the victim will find himself in a game of intermittent roles which we all have sometime played.

We present you with these tales as lose pieces left in a crime scene, with the intention of building a guide with them not to provide solutions or certainties but to formulate questions

about the hunt that goes on in the so called “white” Mérida of Yucatán.

I AM 55.2%

I always wanted to play the trumpet since I was a girl but it wasn’t until I was in a prep school in arts that I had the chance to play the violin. My dad gave me a new piano as a present. I started to take clarinet lessons right away but had to quit them, along with school, to work in a cantina. I wash dishes because I don´t feel ready to deal with customers. I am been told that they can be rude or they´ll touch you or are nasty with you.

There´s a musician in my family, though: My brother; my older brother who left to Mexico City to study music, and with whom I haven´t spoken in a very long time. I have much to tell him but I don´t call him for fear of telling him things I may later regret, even when there are things that we can say to each other without words.

A little while ago I found his old cassette tapes and I wanted to put something together with them, along with the empty bottles that I brought from work, to create an object that may form something of the two of us. It reminds me of some exercises that I did when I was still in school but this is just for me and its meaning cannot be measured with a grade.

I still miss school, my friends, some of the teachers, some routines but there are things that I realized being out of school, like the fact that at the school they´ll promote competition not only among students but also among professors and parents. It´s always the thing of who knows more, who believes to know more, who deserves better grades, as if grades were to define what one is. A grade is only a number. Numbers themselves are cold as statistics.

Statistics in Mexico say that every 52 seconds a student drops out of school and that, of every 100 students who enter elementary, only 14 reach college, and that more than half of Mexico´s teenagers are below poverty line. But my brother went indeed to DF to study.

It´s not that everything is perfect for him. Sometimes he has no money and calls home; then my folks send him what they can but it´s never enough. Soon will come the time when they won´t be able to help him and he´ll have to think of what to do to survive.

Sooner or later, we all have to think of what to do to survive. This may be the reason why they had fire drills at schools. The bad thing is that not everyone took them seriously; not even I.

I remember the drills in which the teacher, upon hearing the fire alarm, would get up calmly, chatting with other teachers or scolding the students that were being silly. There was a time that a teacher wasn´t notified that there would be a drill and was teaching his the class in my group. He got so scared when the alarm went off that he forgot what he had to do as a responsible adult in front of a group and simply took his things and went out running. He just fled. After that, the teacher became the whole school´s mockery. Both students and faculty remembered his face all scared and his clumsy run.

I now understand. I understand that teacher. The fire drill made sense for him because he believed in the need of saving his own life. Fleeing became an act of life or death. I understand those who flee. I understand my brother because I wish I could flee, leave everything behind, chase a dream or wake up to a nightmare.

But, at the same time, there are little things, people, and routines that don´t let me run away, even when I´ve been wanting to for so long. I may be just waiting for something to happen, or cultivating nostalgia, growing old.

I´m already judgmental of myself again, feeding what corrodes me.


The Scorpion and the Frog is an ancient fable of African origins but I know a different version that I would like to share: The scorpion is anxious to cross the river because otherwise he will die. Then he sees the frog swimming nearby and he thinks it´s his last hope to cross. He calls him and says: “Please, help me, the humans burnt the forest and threw pesticide on this side of the river and, if I don´t cross it, I will die and won´t be able to join my kind.”

Ths frog stares at him and says: “Yea, right! I help you cross and, when we´re in midstream, you will bury your sting on my back. Then, when I ask you why, you´ll say ´Oops! I´m sorry, I couldn´t help it. It´s my nature.´ I know the fable. it´s older than the tortoise; so I won´t fall for it and risk my neck this time.”

The scorpion looks at it with awe and says: “Well, you´re right in that the fable is very old and, of course, I also happen to know it but it´s not quite correct. The true nature of a scorpion is not to kill the frogs that risk themselves to help them. The true nature of a scorpion is to survive, just as any other animal. That is why I ask you to help me join my kind who are in the other shore.”

The frog is convinced and allows the scorpion to climb on his back. They start to cross. When they´re in midstream the frog grabs the scorpion´s stinger and stings himself with it. Terrified, the scorpion looks at him and says: “What is wrong with you. Why did you do

that? No we will both drown!” The frog replies: “I´m sorry, I couldn´t help it. It´s my nature.”

I think there are a couple of things to think about this. One is that, by principle, a frog and a scorpion should not cross a river together. I feel like I grew up the son of a frog and a scorpion who decided to cross a river together, who hurt each other and this made me grow up in fear and guilt. Fear made me vulnerable as a scorpion with its stinger folded. That is why I ate too much; so much that I grew very fat. I was a fat and fearful kid and the other kids would realize it. At school there were certain acts that I would suffer; for instance, crossing the soccer field. Every time I crossed the soccer field I would get hit by a ball, or by a few balls. I would feel fear and fury and would sweat. I´d sweat a lot. My clothes would get soaked until one day that all changed. I was about to cross the field and I started sweating oceans, as usual, so I stopped and took off my wet shirt. I left it on the side and crossed the field with a bare torso. I´ve no idea what the others thought. I don´t know if they laughed at me and mocked me. What I do know is that I stopped playing a roll. I understood that fear makes us play certain roles that change constantly. Sometimes we sting others; other times we get stung by others but we generally sting ourselves.

[Text projected on the wall:
The emperor scorpion is a very frail being, actually.
When I have it on my hands, I feel its enormous fragility
and the fear of hurting him is greater
than that of being hurt by him]


The only thing I wanted to do was to stop feeling what I was feeling at that moment. It´s an escape. It´s as if nothing existed upon closing my eyes; as if the world ceased to be.

Falling into depression is total despair. You feel agony, an oppression in the chest, you´re short of air, no one understands you, you feel unprotected, you feel the world falling upon you.

This happens because we all have a limit: a limit to laugh, a limit to cry, a limit to tolerate. When you really try to, your life changes and it´s no longer the same. You exceed the limit and it´s as easy as saying I live, I don´t live, and what? Who cares? It´s my life, mine and no one else´s.

It´s a very strong pain. It´s as if you had a broken mirror and saw your reflection in it, as if you saw all the fragments and no matter how hard you try to put them together, it will never be the same. It´s that no one can live fragmented.

After knocking on so many doors, I finally got a job. I learned my lesson: I didn´t mention that I was under psychiatric treatment, because in the world out there, as I call it, when they

know that you attempted suicide, they´ll point the finger on you and marginalize you, more so if you´re a woman.

Now I am in a dilemma because I have a job and I am happy but the schedule is in conflict with my therapy and I can´t go. Also, I can´t take the medication as indicated because it would affect my performance at work. But I´m happy because I have a job.


Not that long ago, it happened here in Merida—the so called “white city”—that two friends got together to chat. They were old friends. As it often happens among men, their friendship was based in aggression, mostly subtle aggressions, heavy jokes, disapproval disguised as just kidding. As in many friendships among men, one was the constant aggressor and the other one, the victim.

That afternoon—or evening—when they got together, they were into their beers or rum for that matter. The thing is that the aggressor started to victimize the victim, as usual. But this time a limit was reached. That afternoon—or evening—in the heat of the beers—or rum—the victim didn´t play cool with his usual roll and decided to counterattack. Surprised, the aggressor felt his warm blood flowing up his face and let himself be driven by it, and by an instinct to defend himself, even when that man who was just returning the previous aggressions was his friend, one of the people closest to him.

Then another limit was reached when the aggression became physical: A hand padding the other´s back stronger than usual; a finger coming too close to the other´s face; a hand that pushes it away; a push followed by another push; a slap in the face; a fist that travels in the air and thrusts into a jaw, into a nose, and the air full of fear, of strikes, of blows, and the sequence gets out of control. The fists tremble with the arms. The bodies strike and retaliate as never before. The faces are heat up.

The victim can no longer stand it and runs inside his house to his room from the yard where he received his old friend as many times before. Frantic and covered with sweat, he feels his stomach boiling. A sharp pain between belly and genitals makes him fall. He gets up at once and opens a drawer where he looks for something messily. He finds the gun. A gun that someone gave him once and he decided to keep, “just in case one day…” A gun he had barely touched before but he grabs, he checks—all six bullets are in place for him to unload on that asshole who´s out there yelling at him and keeps on yelling although he no longer can distinguish any words. He´s no longer there—he´s nowhere actually. He is one with the gun, completely alone for the first time in years; alone with his thoughts. He closes the drum, releases safety catch as it goes click.


And the victim goes back that night to that house, to that room; thee victim that falls heavily; the victim who hits the floor; the victim who refuses to go over the threshold; the

victim who won´t become the aggressor and who stays there, in that room, alone for the first time in years, feeling how time has become something else.


The heat in Merida. The Summer heat in Merida. The Summer heat in Merida every day that you have to wear the school´s uniform. It´s amazing how you sweat after a few steps; how you sweat when you realize your classmates restart a cycle you know well; a cycle that has you as an axis; a cycle consisting only in mocking you, in screwing you up. They´ll study you more than their Math books. They´ll detect any change in you, if you wear your hair differently, if you´ve drown anything new in your notebook, if you say something in class.

And you sweat much more when the bell goes off announcing that the school day is over, and that you´ll get out alone, and that you´ll have to cross that empty lot full of rocks to head for home. You know what it´s coming: Two or three will be there at the empty lot before you and they´ll await you.

When you get there, soaking wet, they´ll have everything ready: An arsenal of mockery for you; newly thought ideas and, when the moment comes, the push, the slaps, some random kick, until they get you on the floor and kick you harder. They´ll take your backpack, they´ll hide it, they´ll throw your belongings to the dry, red earth. If they´re in the mood, they´ll take your shoes and will throw them far away. They´ll deal with you as a chicken in a kitchen, except that, here, what gets on your sweaty skin instead of flames is the dry red earth. They may even record your humiliation with a cell phone, to then upload it for millions of people to witness it.

Today, however, something went different: Your hand found a rock of a good size and weight. Your fingers clutch it with no one noticing. They don´t notice it indeed as they´re laughing of you: How ridiculous you must look like that with your face all red as if broiled with sweat and dirt, moving clumsily as a circus elephant. But you´re now standing and your hand is gaining impulse with the rock toward your closest attacker. When you see him laying there, covered in blood, you cross the threshold to realize you can no longer stop. Then you crash his head with the rock once and again until you see his brains.

And then, the silence. A silence almost peaceful that no one dares to break. As you run away, you don´t know where you´ll stop, nor you care to know. You only know that, when you´re asked later if you would do it again, you won´t help it but to smile before you say yes.


When I was 14, my sister asked me to come with her every time she went jogging. She wanted to lose weight and gain shape as she was going to run in the Miss Yucatan pageant. I accepted. We would wear our sweat pants and go out jugging, every day, around the neighborhood.

My sister always wanted to participate in the Miss Yucatan thing, maybe because my mother was queen of the Lion´s Club in the city where she grew up and my sister used to look at the old pictures and admire her crowning ceremony, my mom wearing elegant dresses, riding on a carriage all nicely decorated. Beautiful she was.

My sister didn´t win. Twice she didn´t. She never became Señorita Yucatán so she quit working out and jugging but I continued. For years I wore those sweat pants in the morning, even if I´d gone out partying the night before. I went jogging on Avenida Campestre, by myself. It was my moment of the day to be alone, especially since there was always some sort of tension at home; a strange tension. I think I´ve managed to handle tension even when I´ve lived in it all my life. Well, as my mother used to say “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” and “Every cloud has a silver lining”. I imagine she knew that well. She was from Sinaloa, in Northern Mexico. She grew up milking cows, riding donkeys, and chasing chickens. As a girl she was a free soul. Her headaches started at age 14, during the time when my grandma left my grandpa for being such a bohemian and a womanizer, you know what I mean? A bohemian as many local men, being Yucatan one of the states with the highest rates of alcoholism nationwide. My father was bohemian too. I suppose that´s how tensions started, since my Sinaloan mother married my Yucatecan father; when my Sinaloan mother, who wasn´t bohemian, married quite a bohemian “yuca”. She who would always get headaches that made her lay in bed for days. He who always liked to drink; a habit I found out about when I was older. I must admit that he had I never saw him drunk when I was a girl, because my mother took good care of putting us to bed very early, way before the sun was down. I never understood why she did that or what it meant to be an alcoholic. I though it was some kind of an allergy or skin rash. I never saw them argue. Everything seemed perfect, even when there was always something in the atmosphere creating tension, for instance, my mother´s migraines. She loved having children. She has five and used to say that she would have loved to have thirteen or more, as aunt Chelo did; that pregnancy was one of the happiest stages in her life, she´d say. I don´t really share her view. When you get pregnant your body gets deformed, your feet get swollen, everything hurts. Of course, it´s a good excuse to keep your husband at bay.

One day, after years had gone by, when I already knew of my father´s alcoholism, I asked my mother why she had never left my father; why she had never divorced him. She said because of us, her children. “It´s the cross I must bare”, she said, and bore it to her last days. One evening, when she was already very ill and could barely speak, she asked me to tell my father to let her go. What he did was ask the doctors to give her “quality of life”, whatever that may mean. What it translated into was prolonging her suffering a few more months until she died without having had the opportunity to do what she willed during the last days that she could talk and move around.

We, the relatives, are very selfish. Despite the tensions that have´n ceased, I think my life has been better. Tensions of skin, tensions of gender, tensions that, true, won´t unleash the

same forms of violence as in other parts of the country, still detonate things that mark people profoundly; things that people don´t talk about, situations that people hide… Maybe that is why my mother got sick. Maybe that is why people will drink anything here in Yucatan, what makes them dizzy, what makes them drunk, what they like, what they don´t and what hurts.

[Statistics projected on the wall:
6. Yucatan holds the first place in alcohol intoxication nationwide.
5. In Mexico, one of every 6 children who suffers bullying commits suicide.
4. In Mexico, about 15 million illegal weapons circulate.
3. In Mexico, suicide has become the third cause of death between the ages 18 and 35.
2. Mexico holds the first place in violence against minors worldwide.
1. 55.2% of teenagers in Mexico are below poverty line.]


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Noé Morales Muñoz was born in Mexico City in 1977. His professional activities have developed mainly as a playwright, theater critic, teacher, translator and literary essayist. He was the theatre reviewer of the Mexican cultural supplement La Jornada Semanal from newspaper La Jornada for almost a decade, and has been a regular contributor for other newspapers and magazines. He has received artistic development grants from the Mexican Foundation for Young Writers, the National Fund for Culture and Arts, the Laboratorio Fronterizo de Escritores/Writing Lab on the Border, the Royal Court Theatre of London. He took part in the 2009 edition of The Word Exchange, a fifteen-day residency at the Lark Play Development Center in New Yok City in November 2009. He has received two awards for his work. The first of them was the 2007 National Theatrical Essay Award, convoked by the National Institute for Fine Arts and PasodeGato magazine. The second was the 2010 Chilango – fmx Scenic Arts Award, promoted by Editorial Expansión and the Festival del Centro Histórico of Mexico City. He has had four of his plays produced throughout México, and has developed collaborative scenic works as dramatist, stage manager, producer, director and assistant director with some of the most outstanding Mexican theatre companies, like Teatro Línea de Sombra, ASYC Teatro de Movimiento, Realizando Ideas, El Rinoceronte Enamorado, and Cardumen Teatro.

Fer de la Cruz is a Yucatecan poet born in 1971. He has received two national, two regional, and one state-wide poetry awards in Mexico and is a member of the founding faculty at the School of Creative Writing of the State Center of Fine Arts, in Mérida. He is also coordinator of the Historic Mérida branch of Centro de Idiomas del Sureste, where he was a teacher for 20 years. He holds an MA in Spanish from Ohio University and a BA in Philosophy. As an independent editor, writer, translator, and cultural promoter, he has participated in cultural festivals, conferences, and book fairs in Mexico, Cuba, France, and the United States. His poems appeared in the books “Redentora la voz” (Ayuntamiento de Mérida, 2010) and “Aliteletras. De la A a la que quieras” (Dante, 2011), as well as in the chapbooks “La cuenta regresiva. Radiografía urbana mesozoica” (El Drenaje, 2012) and “Seven Songs of Silent, Singing Fireflies” (JKPublishing, 2008): delacrux@hotmail.com.




Artist: Mel Blossom