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Eclipses and Breaks of Light (Arturo Desimone)

A translation of Eclipses y Fulgores, an interview of Argentinean surrealist Olga Orozco, with new preface.

Born to the Pampas in 1920, Olga Orozco spent her adolescence in the coastal city of Bahía Blanca in Argentina, and made her artistic debut in the so-called “Generation of the 1940s” alongside authors like Enrique Molina and Edgar Bayley, as well as Alejandra Pizarnik (perhaps the internationally most-famous Argentinean poet) after whose tragic and youthful suicide Orozco dedicated the poem “Pavana del hoy para una infanta difunta que amo y lloro”

Pavanne for a girl-child who I love and mourn today.

Orozco’s encounter with European and Latin American schools of surrealism redefined her poetry—the surreal, the strange, and the nocturnal became, perhaps, her poetry’s most defining characteristics. Fond of talismans, masques and pseudonyms — she was said to be juggling about 8 of them at a given moment — she used…

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Thoughts on the press in postmodernity

We have reached a point at which we all act as agents of the Press– no non-journalists can be found. There is only a prevailing hierarchy of journalists, the vast majority unpaid, and yet networking assiduously on social media. This does not merely count for Western societies–perhaps to the contrary, the rule holds doubly so for the non-Western societies, making the hierarchy of total enlistment in mass-journalism all the more apparent when every citizen of the Arab world or in Africa acts a journalist via social media. In the mass of journalists, only anti-authoritarian and anti-hierarchical slogans and self-definitions can be heard. The established press lords, through salaried pundits, simultaneously support censorship, while making claims of preserving “the Truth” against the “post-Truth” of an authoritarian dictatorship’s state of exception to the establishment. The word “pundit” harks back to its etymological meaning, from Hindi “pandit” which entered English thanks to the bureaucracy of colonialism.

The opponents and competitors of the established press, meanwhile make similar claims. The amateur press we all belong to (without the rights granted by a press card and without other journalistic freedoms, only duties ) by definition identifies as liberal, or progressive, even when promiscuous with authoritarianism and fetishistic towards “expert opinion”, and contemptuous of free thought. The audience itself is enlisted and militates, at least virtually.

Arturo Desimone,
Málaga 2020

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Review of Omar Pimienta’s Album of Fences in South Florida Poetry Journal


Publication of my review of the book of poems and photography ”Album of Fences” by Mexican-US poet contemporary artist Omar Pimienta, with the editor’s selection from the Album, published in bilingual edition with Cardboard House Press

(In the audio files, Pimienta recites his poems in Spanish,  I recite the English)

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publication of Ouafa and Thawra (book of poems, drawings and an essay)


Poetry, Drawings, Essay


“Ouafa and Thawra is a nomadic collection: well-travelled and restless, but with roots firmly in revolutionary Tunisia, a tumultuous country “where people are sweet/

where even the hypocrisy is sweet.” Arturo Desimone travels fearlessly between genres, too, with sketches deepening the reading experience and a postscript essay on Tunisia

before and after the ‘Arab Spring’ adding context to the poems (and offering the controversial but sound claim that the Arab Spring was catalysed by the events of 2003 in Iraq). Desimone is wholly original: his poems simultaneously draw on a breathtaking, freewheeling sense of linguistic innovation, and on a timeless well of imagery and mythology.” 

Jacob Silkstone, managing editor of Asymptote

journal, co-founder of The Missing Slate

link url to African Books Collective (distributor)



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reprint of short story The Conversation of Angels

A short story I wrote in 2005 or so, since this year in the fantastic Australian literary website for poems, prose and pin-up girls, Horror Sleaze Trash

link here


My thanks to Arthur Graham the new editor/sensitivity-reader of H.S.T

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censorship-essay in Africanah contemporary art magazine

Essay about violent acts of censorship in the contemporary art world in democracies

of the West and the Global South, mostly


to the magazine which has a focus on contemporary African and Caribbean art

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Book Review: Poems of the Mare Nostrum / Costa Nostra


Having recently read a number of crowd pleasing novels it felt good to sink my teeth into this challenging poetry collection. Subtitled, ‘Poems for the twilight of the shipwrecked’, the author opens by explaining the main title.

Places go by many names over time. What we now call the Mediterranean, the Romans referred to as Mare Nostrum, meaning Our Sea. Today, Costa Nostra refers to

“beaches, and the Pan-European defence of coastlines and borders: a machinery which only intensified in recent years.”

Desimone looks to ancient Greece for heroes and beasts

“all of whom seem to have enjoyed significantly more freedom to wander, especially in the light of today’s more clearly defined barriers”

This theme of borders and beasts, ancient and modern, along with the plight of immigrants and refugees and how this compares to the treatment of tourists, permeates a collection alive with anger and contempt for those who…

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