Lit & Luz Festival Brings Authors & Artists from Mexico City for Weeklong Fest in Chicago

The third annual Lit & Luz Festival, presented by MAKE Literary Productions, kicks off October 11th in Chicago. The weeklong binational and bilingual series features some of the most innovative contemporary work from renowned authors and visual artists from Chicago and Mexico City. Readings, conversations, artist talks, performances, panel discussions, and a culminating Live Magazine Finale, are presented in both English and Spanish with live translation and supertitles.

Begun in 2014, the Lit & Luz Festival grew out of the pages of MAKE magazine’s Intercambio portfolio, which has featured over 40 writers to date, many in English translation for the first time. In the United States, English translations of foreign works make up only 3 percent of all works published, and less than 1 percent of those are new works. MAKE magazine and the Lit & Luz Festival offers Chicago audiences the rare opportunity to experience the work of some of Mexico’s most acclaimed writers and artists, alongside the city’s brightest cultural talent.

The theme of this year’s festival, “(Anti-)Static,” seeks to be a catalyst for movement forward and can be interpreted as encompassing, among many other things, ideas of progression, motion, controlled chaos, and development (for or against).

Gozamos is a proud media sponsor of the Lit & Luz Festival.

Featured Presenters

Daniel Saldaña Paris

Daniel Saldaña París is an essayist, poet and novelist born in Mexico City. He is the author of Among Strange Victims, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney and published in the US by Coffee House Press. He lives in Montreal.

Gabriela Jauregui

Gabriela Jauregui’s recent works include Leash Seeks Lost Bitch (The Song Cave/Sexto Piso, 2015) and a short story collection, La memoria de las cosas (Sexto Piso, 2015), She works as a correspondent for various cultural publications including the BBC World Service’s Cultural Frontline, Witte de With’s Review, Art Forum, Art Review and others.

Guadalupe Nettel

Guadalupe Nettel’s many awards include Herralde Novel Prize, Gilberto Owen National Literature Prize, and the Antonin Artaud Prize among others. Her much-acclaimed titles Natural Histories (7 Stories Press NY) and The Body Where I Was Born (7 Stories Press NY) have been translated into English. She lives and works in Mexico City.

Jorge Mendez Blake

Jorge Méndez Blake explores the possible connections between literature, visual arts and architecture, fusing different historic and geographical elements, provoking new lectures on the paper of language and history. He has focused his work in the research of the idea of the library, understood as a fragile and contradictory structure.

Luis Felipe Fabre

Luis Felipe Fabre is a poet and critic based in Mexico City. He has published a volume of essays and poetry collections. Recent books of poetry include Poemas de terror y de misterio (2013) and Sor Juana and Other Monsters (2015). The latter was translated by John Pluecker has been published by Ugly Duckling Presse.

Readings & Performances

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

Events will be presented in both English and Spanish.

Tuesday, October 11

Señal Night Poetry Reading
7 pm at Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street
Lit & Luz, Poetry Foundation, and Señal Books present Señal Night with Florencia Castellano, Luis Felipe Fabre, Pablo Katchadjian, and Gabriela Jauregui. And special guest translators, Alexis Almeida, Stalina Villarreal, JP Pluecker, and Rebekah Smith. Hosted by Brenda Lozano. Co-presented by the Poetry Foundation & Poetry Magazine, along with Señal Books.

Wednesday, October 12

Reading and Q & A with Writer and Critic Gabriela Jauregui
4:15 PM, School of the Art Institute, Lakeview Building 8th floor Writing Wing, White Box Studio 803, 116 S. Michigan Avenue
Join prolific poet and Mexico City-based art critic Gabriela Jauregui for a reading and Q & A. Reception to follow. Co-presented by the Writing Program, School of the Art Institute

On Translation: a Discussion with Writer-Translators
7 pm at Sector 2337, 2337 N Milwaukee Ave
A conversation on translation with Alexis Almeida, Luis Felipe Fabre, JP Pluecker, Rebekah Smith, Stalina Villarreal. Hosted by Daniel Borzutzky.

Thursday, October 13

Zona Abierta Series Artist Talk with Jorge Méndez Blake
3:30 pm, Rafael Cintrón Ortiz Latino Cultural Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago, 803 South Morgan Street, Lecture Center B2
Méndez Blake will present images and discuss his sculptures and installations, which have been exhibited world wide. Co-presented with the Latin American and Latino Studies Department at UIC.

Reading and Conversation with Novelist Daniel Saldaña París
5 pm at Roosevelt University
A reading with Daniel Saldaña París, whose novel Among Strange Victims was recently released in English translation the U.S. by Coffee House Press. Co-presented with Roosevelt University’s MFA in Creative Writing

Community Open House at ACRE
6-9 pm at ACRE Projects, 1345 W 19th Street
Food, drinks, and pop-up performances by Lit & Luz participants.

Friday, October 14

Reading and Conversation with Writer Guadalupe Nettel
12 pm at University of Chicago Katz Center, 5848 S. University Ave.
Herralde Award-winning author Nettel will read and discuss her work and writing life in Mexico City. Co-presented with the Katz Center for Mexican Studies

Visual Artists Jorge Méndez Blake and Dianna Frid
5-7 PM DePaul Art Museum, 935 W Fullerton Ave

Join us for a conversation with artists Jorge Méndez Blake and Dianna Frid on how their respective cities, libraries, and poetry have influenced their work. The discussion will be moderated by Mexico City-based writer and art critic, Gabriela Jauregui and DPAM assistant curator, Mia Lopez. In conjunction with the exhibit, “On Space and Place: Contemporary Art from Chicago, Los Angeles, Mexico City and Vancouver.”

Saturday, October 15

(Anti-)Static: A Live Magazine Extravaganza
8 pm, Co-Prosperity Sphere, 3221 S. Morgan
Featuring debut collaborative performances from Gabriela Jauregui + Susy Bielak & Fred Schmalz, Jorge Méndez Blake, Guadalupe Nettel + Vu Tran + Amanda Gutiérrez, Daniel Saldaña París + Jessica Anne, Alejandro Albarrán Polanco. This event will move between Spanish and English and through the theme, “(Anti-)Static” or “Motion,” explore the contexts in which both Chicago and Mexico City exist. Suggested donation.


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