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April 29, 2020:
Kickstarter brothers and sisters (and cousins),
We are still feeling warm and fuzzy about the Sant Jordi NYC Festival, but we thought you might also like to hear a few facts. Right?
• We featured over 100 events, with over 300 participants, including writers, translators, publishers, curators, musicians, actors, artists, chefs… (not to mention the artists…)
• From the time we launched the web, four weeks ago, we have had 6,863 visits from a total of 4,417 visitors, with over 14,000 page-views. Which means some of you liked us, you really liked us. (Does anyone remember Sally Field?)
• The languages of our visitors were, in order of frequency, English, Japanese, Catalan, Spanish, Hungarian, German, and French
• The countries were the U.S., Spain, Japan, UK, and Andorra. Yes, Andorra!
• By city, the most users came from New York, Barcelona, Lleida (yay, Lleida!), Yokohama, and London
• We were visited from 57 countries. Fifty-seven!
• The average viewer duration was 12:22. It must be said, our viewers have a very good attention span.
• The majority of our viewers came from the U.S., Spain, and Japan. And the average length of view is highest in the U.S., then the UK, then Andorra, and then…Iraq! I’m thinking we have Sinan Antoon to thank for that (❤).
• Our most attentive age group were the 35-44 year-olds, 27% of viewers, who watched an average of 20 minutes and 37 seconds. Way to go, Generation X!
• More women watched than men, but not by much: 51.5% vs. 48.5%
• More people watched on their cell phones than on their computers! 48.4% vs. 44.5%. And 2.6% watched on TV (!)
Today I heard from a person who discovered the Sant Jordi NYC web through a terrific article in Untapped Cities (shoutout to one of my favorite NYC resources). If you reached us through a third party, please let us know how. We’d love to hear from you.
By the way, last chance: Our Kickstarter comes to an end at midnight on April 30th. Please share our beautiful web and fascinating and fun content—did you see “Poetry and Goats” on April 23rd? Or Elías Knörr reciting his poetry in Galician, Icelandic, French, and English, also on April 23rd? Or Gabrielle Civil and Madhu Kaza discussing “I Am A Japanese Writer” by Haitian writer Dany Laferriere? Or Mara Lethem and Jordi Nopca reading on April 26th from the latter’s Come On Up (a cliffhanger that, unless you speak Catalan, will not be resolved until the book comes out in 2021)?
So much good stuff. You can find it now by checking the program to see when it comes up, and then going to “Videos” and scrolling through until you find it. We are working on segmenting the events and making them available separately—coming soon!
The Sant Jordi NYC Team
April 28, 2020: Post-festival reflections on Sant Jordi NYC
If you are reading this now, perhaps you have discovered Sant Jordi NYC after the live-streaming has come to an end. If this is the case, welcome! And if you are returning to see something you missed, welcome back!
This page is going to stay alive, and be increasingly user-friendly. All the events, which are now available as a whole by clicking on the Videos box in the upper-right hand of the screen, will be archived as individual events that can be consulted one by one. Coming soon, we promise!
We hope that you will enjoy or continue to enjoy visiting our virtual city, to hear translators and authors talk about literature—often with their editors and publishers. There were many extraordinary insights into literature and language—check out the Translation Slam, for example, with an incredible discussion of language through Uyghur poetry, or Carmen Boullosa’s delightful interview of Samantha Schnee, the translator of her The Book of Anna, in which translators were variously described as hermit crabs and occupiers of other people’s houses. And, ultimately, as a different kind of writer.
While there, please listen to the original music we presented and experience the state-of-the-art web features, such as the interactive art and AR (augmented reality) features (invite a baby dragon into your home, put our virtual books on your shelves, and our roses in your vases), the beautiful virtual video mapping of the Flatiron building, and the flip book stories of Sant Jordi. We like to think that this variegated offer of events is an integral part of the festival.
Please do consider contributing to our Kickstarter, which will be alive until April 30th. The Festival, as such, is over, but post-production goes on, and we will not only be archiving the events for easy consultation, but featuring them, and adding new ones as we go along.
Welcome to Sant Jordi NYC!
Mary Ann Newman, Laia Cabrera, Isabelle Duverger, Ignacio Garcia-Bustelo
April 26, 2020:
Dear friends of Sant Jordi NYC:
Ever since we reached our fundraising goal sometime yesterday afternoon, I have been eager to write you with my sincerest thanks. Your support has been a recognition of the value of this project, which has brought so many people from so many countries together at a time when we have never been farther apart.
But what should have been a tearful goodbye message, a farewell to 24 Hours of Sant Jordi (Online), has turned into an invitation to more literature, music, and AR baby dragons, because our far-flung network of translators, poets, curators, editors, publishers, and literary agents has sent us another 5 1/2 hours of fascinating material. Along with a Concert in Quarantine from Gilberto and Diana, in addition to musical intervals by Robert Moreland.
If you enjoyed the fascinating PEN America Translation Slam devoted to the great Uyghur poet, Tahir Hamut Izgil, in which Karen Emmerich moderated an exercise in live literary analysis between translators Mutallip Anwar and Joshua Freeman; if you were moved by the poignant and wry short stories of best-selling Japanese authors Sayaka Murata and Kanako Nishi, with their respective translators, Ginny Tapley Takemori and Allison Markin Powell, and the consummate interpreter, Marie Iida; if you were charmed and intrigued by author Carmen Boullosa’s interview of her translator, Samantha Schnee—finding new perspectives on the text and on translation itself by flipping the roles, then you must come visit us tomorrow.
In the spirit of Sant Jordi, Catalan literature will be woven throughout the day, including the great Catalan poet, Joan Maragall, translated by Ronald Puppo, Jordi Nopca, translated by Mara Lethem, David Gálvez-Casellas of Andorra with his translator, Maria Cristina Hall, Peter Bush reading from the great Quim Monzó, Ann Kaiser reading Anna Gual…, all interspersed among a reading and conversation about the brilliant new translation of the 9th century Tamil poem The Tiruvāymoḻi or Endless Song, with Dr. Raj Balkaran and the translator, Archana Venkatesan, a reading and discussion of indigenous influences in modern poetry with Judith Santopietro and translator Ilana Luna; a sampling of literatures from the Jill! reading series, curated by Larissa Kyzer, with authors Nazik al-Mala’ika and Badr Shakir al-Sayyab (Iraq), Pema Bhum (Tibet), Alba Cid (Galicia); and their translators, Ruwa Alhaya, Tenzin Dickie, and Jacob Rogers.
And all of this takes place in the cozy, sheltering city created for us by filmmaker and web artists Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger, who have brought you the video mapping of the Flatiron, the webAR features that bring the books, roses, and baby dragons—designed in collaboration with Aniol Saurina Masó. We take this opportunity to remind you that our fundraising goes on: this unusual literary experience would not have been the same without the beautiful environment the artists have created. And the theatrical director, Ignacio García-Bustelo, who has given the program such a subtle structure. Please continue to reach out to your friends—whether they love literature, art, music, or baby dragons--so that we can raise the roof on this Kickstarter even higher!
Mary Ann Newman - The Sant Jordi NYC Team
April 26, 2020: Sant Jordi Sunday in NYC and Washington D.C.
We know this is an embarrassment of riches, but not only is Sant Jordi NYC spilling over into Sunday, but our friends in Washington, D.C. are organizing a Sant Jordi Day tomorrow, as well. We encourage you to check out the virtual Kensington Day of the Book Festival Catalonia Program, up on the website dayofthebook.com. And check out their facebook page.
Toggle back and forth! Join us both!
Also, we have reached our kickstarter goal! Thanks to all of you who donated, we are so grateful!
The Sant Jordi NYC Team
April 25, 2020:
There is an expression in Spanish, morir de éxito, to die of success. It means to be so successful at something that an unintended consequence arises, like the need for crowd control. Or a problem with the supply chain. In our case, it means we have so much amazing literature and music and art that we need to extend Sant Jordi through Sunday. And I’m going to tell you all about it. Bur first…
We are dying of success with our programming, but not with our fundraising. If you are reading this, I am appealing to you to reach out to two or three friends who might enjoy these days of international literature, and ask them to make a donation. Even $5 or $10 will make a difference (after all, $5 x 20 = $100, no?)! Please go to our Kickstarter page at http://kck.st/2wEC7bL.
Yesterday we were delighted to watch Chef Jaume Biarnés prepare Fettucine Marilyn (named after you-know-who) as he chatted with Martí Gironell about Ceferino Carrión's long journey from starving in Barcelona to hobnobbing with the stars at his legendary La Scala restaurant in Los Angeles. Today we will hear editor Gabi Page-Fort talk with Martí and translator Sean Bye about ways to survive in pre-war Europe: escape, like Carrión, or stay and fight (not the way you think), like Jakub Szapiro in Szczepan Twardoch's The King of Warsaw.
But the cooking doesn't stop with Fettucine Marilyn! Antonia Lloyd-Jones brings us a conversation with Witold Szablowski about her brilliant translation of How to Feed a Dictator: the secrets only a personal chef can know about the real life of a political strongman, through interviews by the author. And Rosi Song and Anna Riera will take us on a tour, both contemporary and historical, of Catalan cuisine with A Taste of Barcelona!
If your children are tired of home schooling, video games, arts & crafts, and everything else you come up with to distract them, please tune in at 12 noon for Lunicities, a show for children and adults that follows the phases of the moon, live, with Jordi Villacampa; Prez of the Jungle, a Brazilian fable about dirty politics, with Lyn Miller-Lachmann; and Sota les onades/Bajo las olas, with Xavier Salomó, the illustrator. And to keep them entertained while you watch the literary and musical events, have them try our web augmented reality activities: they can play with a baby dragon—our Dragonet!—and invite him right into your home! And place virtual books and roses anywhere they want. It’s gorgeous.
We will be back with updates throughout the day, but do not miss, at 12:30, the Penguin Book of Hell, by Scott G. Bruce, a compendium of visions of hell from all over the world.
At 1 p.m., you can see the gorgeous video mapping of the Flatiron Building created by our web artists, Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger. And then, a project close to my heart: the tour-de-force music, poetry, and translation creation from Alexis Cuadrado, Rowan Ricardo Phillips and Melcion Mateu. Alexis composed the music for the brilliant poetry of Rowan and Melcion. You will hear how the rhythms of the poems shift with the languages and blend with the music. An incredible experiment in words and music, with a stellar band of musicians: Alexis on the bass, Miguel Zenón on the saxophone, Miles Okazaki on the guitar, and Albert Marqués on the piano. LIVE!
That’s all for now! Kisses, and please write your friends.
The Sant Jordi NYC Team
April 24, 2020: Friends and lovers of international literature,
Friends, Sant Jordi is officially over. If this were any ordinary year in Barcelona, the flower stalls would be returned to the florists and the bookstands would be back in storage. This year, of course, there are no such logistics. There have been beautiful tributes to Sant Jordi: hospital personnel in masks and protective gear holding roses, writers reading favorite books from their homes. Even so, Sant Jordi has drawn to an end in Catalonia.
But Sant Jordi NYC goes on! Please look at the beautiful line-up on the program page. We kick off — never better said — with Jordi Puntí and Simon Critchley, LIVE, at 12 talking soccer at noon, followed by a cooking session, Fettucine Marilyn, straight from the legendary La Scala restaurant in Los Angeles, the topic of Martí Gironell’s Stars in His Eyes. We have heard particularly wonderful things about Claudia Durasanti, and Cyrus Cassell’s has been reading and thinking and translating Salvador Espriu all his life.
We are thrilled that Paul Holdengräber has offered his beautiful thoughts on breath and on solitude, through fragments of Etgar Keret and Thomas Bernhard. And Sinan Antoon will speak about his breathtaking Book of Collateral Damage. And I am leaving out Alta Price with Dana Grigorcea, Matteo Terzaghi, and Ivna Žic, and Tess Lewis with Judith Keller, all outstanding.
Stilll, please do not leave the site without exploring its incredible artistic and technological features: our unique webAR augmented reality game without need of goggles or download! You can invite a baby dragon — our adorable Dragonet created by Aniol Saurina Masó — into your home. If you are trying to keep the children at bay while you listen to the lit, this is your chance! Or maybe you’d like to play with him, too. The projection mapping onto the Flatiron Building Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger were not able to do, is here on our site, with original music by Nana Simopoulos.
Let’s keep the spirit of Sant Jordi alive! Two more days of Sant Jordi NYC! Oh yes, and here is the link to our Kickstarter:
Please help our starving artists survive!
The Sant Jordi NYC Team
April 23, 2020: Bona Diada de Sant Jordi! Sant Jordi’s Day is finally here.
Traditionally we worry about whether it will rain or be cold. This morning, in New York, it snowed! Ironically, confinement has made this a moot point.
Welcome, everyone, to Sant Jordi NYC! We are presenting over 96 literary events in more than a dozen languages. Our beautiful website, designed by the extraordinary artists, Laia Cabrera and Isabelle Duverger, welcomes you on a virtual journey, with webAR (no need for special goggles) and exciting virtual features.
Our musical component, curated by Alexis Cuadrado and Albert Marquès, amazing Catalan jazz musicians based in New York, will allow you for musical interludes among readings and conversations and a series of concerts, live and pre-recorded, by international artists.
We are a team of four — producer and director Ignacio García-Bustelo, is orchestrating our program — with a network of hundreds of writers and translators and commentators who have come together to celebrate Sant Jordi, the most beautiful book fair in the world, invented in Catalonia, and celebrated here in New York, the city of a thousand language.
This is why we devote the festival to literature in translation: to support the presses and bookstores and writers and translators who bring all the world’s voices to you. Speaking of world voices, we are bursting with pride to be collaborating with PEN America and PEN Català. Our first event, at noon today, will be under the umbrella of PEN Català, and our grand finale will be a PEN World Voices Festival Translation Slam. More about this later.
Tonight is Iceland Night, with performances, discussions, and readings, accompanied by Icelandic musical performers. A more detailed message follows!
More messages to come with updates on the program. And please be patient, the program is a work in progress. Events are being added by the hour.
For now, today, at 12 p.m. sharp, let the festivities begin!
Oh, and by the way: please donate to our Kickstarter so that we can give recompense to our extraordinary collaborators: web designers, programmers, and the writers and translators whose livelihoods may be at risk. All proceeds will go to them. And your contribution will be tax-deductible, as the Farragut Fund for Catalan Culture in the U.S. is a not-for-profit organization.
The Sant Jordi NYC Team
April 10, 2020
Two weeks ago we were about to launch the NYC version of Barcelona’s Sant Jordi Book Fair. There would be lit crawls in Chelsea and DUMBO, and bookstands and flower stalls in Madison Square. And concerts and guest authors. All swept away by COVID-19.
So. We’re going online. We’ve reinvented the festival as 24 hours of Sant Jordi NYC (Online). Three days of literature in translation, 8 hours a day, from April 23 to 25, in this international literary portal.
This is a truly original online experience through which people can enter and choose an area of activity following different narratives from within the illustration of the cityscape of Madison Square, with animated illustrations, web-based AR experience, video mapping, original music, and, above all, a surprising array of international literature.
True to the spirit of Sant Jordi, our Kickstarter seeks funding for two purposes: to support bookstores and publishers by bringing their books into your homes through our gorgeous virtual city, and to offer a stipend to the writers, translators, and musicians who will reach you through Sant Jordi NYC.