Venezuelan Play in London: Tales of Bed Sheets and Departure Lounges

As part of CLAW Festival (Contemporary Latin American Writers), which takes place at the Cervantes Theatre in London from 3-9th July, there will be daily performances in English of Montague Kobbe’s play Tales of Bed Sheets and Departure Lounges. 

Adapted from his 2014 book of microfiction of the same name, Tales of  Bed Sheets and Departure Lounges offers brief glimpses into everyday lives and deep emotions, moments of desire and frustration.

On Saturday 8th, there will also be a reading in Spanish and a party for Crude Wordswhich Kobbe co-edited.

For more information, and to book tickets, see

Happening wins Premio de la Crítica de la Novela 2014

Gustavo Valle has again won the Premio de la Crítica de la Novela for his surreal adventure Happening, having been awarded the 2009 prize for Bajo Tierra.

happeningJudges Luis Miguel Isava, Adriana Cabrera and Luis Alfredo Álvarez, chose Happening out of a shortlist of 12 for the prize, run by Ficción Breve and the Fundación de la Cultura Urbana. They announced:

For the coherent execution of its aesthetic project, manifest in the use of narrative techniques ranging from humour, pain, drama, melancholy and reflection, we declare Happening by Gustavo Valle the winning novel. This novel constitutes, in our opinion, a work which, while exploring an existential vein, presents a vision of the world as a thriller in which uncertainty and chance are the critical axes, all of which is held up in the idea of the happening as the central thread [of the novel].

Valle’s novel was also awarded the XIII Premio Anual Transgenérico and was recently republished in Argentina by Autoría Literaria.

The three other finalists were Jinete a pie by Israel Centeno, La ciudad vencida by Yeniter Poler and Los escafandristas by Fedosy Santaella. Read more about them from Ficción Breve.

Venezuelan poets adorn the streets of Pittsburgh

The streets of Pittsburgh were adorned with portraits of some of the greatest Venezuelan poets in July as part of ‘River of Words’, the project from graphic designer Carolina Arnal, artist Gisela Romero and writer Israel Centeno which won a prize from the Pittsburgh Office of Public Art.

Guillermo Parra and Ramos Sucre

José Antonio Ramos Sucre and Guillermo Parra, translator of Sucre’s Selected Works.


cadenas pittsburgh Eugenio Monejo

La escribana del viento by Ana Teresa Torres wins Premio de la Crítica 2013

la escribana del viento

La escribana del viento (Editorial Alfa) by Ana Teresa Torres (Caracas, 1945) is the winner of this year’s Premio de la Crítica de la Novela, organised by Ficción Breve Venezolana, with the support of the Sociedad de Amigos de la Cultura Urbana and Librería Noctua. The judges Violeta Rojo, Álvaro Contreras and Miguel Marcotrigiano chose La escribana del viento from the list of 17 finalists announced in July for being “an historical novel in which the narration of a real event which took place in Caracas in the 17th Century is an analysis of the manipulation and abuse of power”

Read the full report from Ficción Breve.

Las horas claras and El lejano oeste winners of the 2013 Premio de los libreros

las horas clarasFor the second year running, Venezuelan booksellers have voted for their favourite books of the year. The winners were Jacqueline Goldberg’s Las horas claras (Cultura Urbana) for narrative, and Alejandro Castro’s El lejano oeste (bid&co) for poetry. As a novel written by a poet, Las horas claras was said to ‘combine with great skill the best of both genres’, while El lejano oeste was praised for ‘Its force, its ironic humour and its cheek’.

The bookshops involved were Alejandría, El Buscón, Noctua, Kalathos, Sopa de Letras and Lugar Común. Special mentions were also given in poetry to Gina Saraceni for Casa de pisar duro (Cultura Urbana) and in narrative to Ana Teresa Torres for La escribana del viento (Alfa).

Click here to read the full report and judges verdict at Ficción Breve.

Books from Oasis: Publishing Venezuelan Literature in London

books from oasisBooks from Oasis is the new publishing venture from environmentalist turned novelist Cinzia De Santos which aims to publish books from Venezuelan authors here in London.

Cinzia explains that the project started because she was getting frustrated waiting for agents or publishers to answer her submissions. “Writing to me is more an inevitability than a commercial activity. So I decided to create my own mini publishing company”. Through Books from Oasis, Cinzia has published her first novel, El sentido de la oscuridad, as well as an English translation, The Sense of Darkness.

Consequently, a friend with experience of publishing books in Venezuela suggested to her that she use her company to offer an international platform to other Venezuelan authors who face real difficulties getting their books distributed abroad because of strict currency controls.

Any authors wanting more information should contact Cinzia at She is currently building a website which will have more information.

Nominations for Premio de la Crítica 2013 announced

Premio critica novela 2013The Premio de la Crítica a la Novela for 2013, organised by Ficción Breve Venezolana, announced on 4 July 2014 its 17 contenders. The jury, comprising professors and researchers Violeta Rojo, Miguel Marcotigiano and Álvaro Conteras, will announce the winner, and up to five finalists, in September.

The novels in the running, in alphabetical order, are:
  1. Días de novenario, Inés Muñoz Aguirre, Bruguera
  2. El abismo de los cocuyos, de Mario Amengual, Bid &CO. Editor
  3. El buen esposo, Federico Vegas, editorial Alfa
  4. El hijo de Gengis Khan, Ednodio Quintero, Seix Barral
  5. En sueños matarás, Fedosy Santaella, Alfaguara
  6. Guararé, de Wilmer Poleo Zerpa, Ediciones B
  7. Jezabel, de Eduardo Sánchez Rugeles, Ediciones B
  8. La decisión justa, José Miguel Roig, Oscar Todtmann Editores
  9. La escribana del viento, Ana Teresa Torres, Editorial Alfa
  10. La luna envidiosa, José Miguel Roig, Oscar Todtmann Editores
  11. La víctima perfecta, Mónica Montañés, Ediciones B
  12. Las horas claras, Jacqueline Goldberg, Sociedad de Amigos de la Cultura Urbana
  13. Las topias de la invocación, Leoner ramos Giménez Ediciones B
  14. Óyeme con los ojos, Valentina Saa Carbonell, Ediciones B
  15. Por poco lo logro, de José Manuel Peláez, Ediciones B
  16. Procedencia desconocida, Antonieta Benítez Briceño, Bruguera
  17. Sábanas negras, Sonia Chocrón, Ediciones B

Read the original announcement from Ficción Breve here.

Manifiesto: país – Exhibition at Sala Mendoza, Caracas

From Sunday 18 May until 31 August 2014, Sala Mendoza at the Universidad Metropolitana in Caracas will play host to Manifiesto: país, a creative response to the wave of protests which have hit Venezuela over the past few months. The exhibition brings together 66 responses to the idea of país from the country’s leading writers, poets, intellectuals and journalists, and accompanying artwork.

manifiesto país

The exhibition is organised by Lisbeth Salas, currently resident in Barcelona, who runs La Cámara Escrita publishing house. She explained to El Nacional:

I made the same request to each of them: define the word country.The ideas was that they speak about how they see it, what they hope for from the future that we seemingly don’t have, how to rescue the idea of nation from memory, reminiscence and even exile. We are all living through the same thing, regardless of where we reside; what’s certain is that Venezuela is no longer what it was and we don’t know what it is now either.

A todos les hice la misma petición: que definieran la palabra país. La idea era que hablaran sobre cómo lo ven, qué esperan de ese futuro que al parecer no tenemos, de cómo rescatar la nación desde la memoria, el recuerdo y hasta desde el exilio. Todos estamos viviendo lo mismo, independientemente de dónde estemos parados; lo cierto es que Venezuela ya no es lo que era y tampoco sabemos lo que es.

Each text has been transformed into a visual artwork inspired by Soviet posters, advertising, Dada, and mass movements, a fusion of words and images conceived by Salas and developed by the design duo Pedro Quintero and César Jara. The director of Sala Mendoza, Patricia Velasco, told El Nacional:

It’s a project for the city, but also for the student movement, which is leading the protests. It’s an exhibition to make us think, to think about Venezuela in a positive way, to dialogue, because that’s what we all want.

Es un proyecto para la ciudad, pero también para el movimiento estudiantil, que es el que está al frente de las protestas. Es una exposición para pensarnos, para pensar en Venezuela en positivo, para dialogar, porque eso es lo que todos deseamos.

The book, Manifiesto: país will be launched in July. I hope to bring you more news on that soon!

Winners Announced for 8th Premio de Cuento de la Policlínica Metropolitana

policlinicaCongratulations to Tibisay Rodríguez, who won first place in the VIII Premio de Cuentos Policlinica Metropolitana para Jovenes Autores. Judges Ángel Gustavo Infante, José Pulido and Violeta Rojo chose her short story Blood out of 125 entries. Rodríguez was praised for skilfully putting together a very current story in which youth language blends with literary discourse and leads the audience to an ending which allows them to piece together the scenes and reinterpret their conclusions.

Second place was awarded to Rodolfo A. Rico for Para siempre, while Juan Manuel Romero‘s Palmadas en el hombro took third place. The following all received honourable mentions:

Día de gracia by Pedro Varguillas; Flor by Isabella Saturno; La mesa by Víctor Mosqueda Allegri; La muerte elocuente by Yorman Alirio Vera; La vida sexual y triste by Diego Alejandro Martínez; Una escena al estilo de Steven Seagal by Roberto Enrique Araque and Ya no seré otra habitante by Rosanna Álvarez Barroeta.

The judges also highlighted the wide participation by authors from regions across the country and those living abroad.The three winners will receive a cash prize of Bs. 12,000 (about £1100), Bs. 6,000 and Bs.3,000 respectively.

You can read the full verdict in the original Spanish at Ficción Breve.

El Universal Poll: The Books of 2013

Venezuelan daily newspaper El Universal carried out a poll of 23 writers, editors, critics, professors, publishers and general bookworms to decide on the top Venezuelan books of 2013. The only rule was that they could not vote for a book in which they were some way involved themselves.

The voters:

Albinson Linares, Andreína Melo, Andrés Boersner, Antonio López Ortega, Carlos Pacheco, Carmen Verde Arocha, Carolina Lozada, Diego Arroyo Gil, Diómedes Cordero, Freddy Ñáñez, Joaquín Marta Sosa, Luis Barrera Linares, Luis Moreno Villamediana, Luz Marina Rivas, María Alejandra Bello, Marialcira Matute, Melissa Nahmens, Michelle Roche, Nelson Rivera, Rodrigo Blanco Calderón, Roger Michelena, Valmore Muñoz Arteaga and Vicente Lecuna.

The winners, by genre:

Short Stories: La sombra inmóvil by Antonio López Ortega. The book which received most votes of any in the poll, Carlos Pacecho described it as ‘without competition’, and deserving distribution abroad.

Novel: La escribana del viento by Ana Teresa Torres. Editor Andrés Boersner called it Torres’ ‘most important fictional work of the last decade’

Poetry: Annapurna by Igor Barreto. Nelson Rivera, director of Papel literario called it ‘unexpected, distant and close at the same time’.

Essay: Derivas by Alejandro Sebastiani Verlezza. A literary diary full of ‘reflection, observation and intuition’.

Non fiction: Pasaje de ida by Silda Cordoliani. A compilation of testimonies from 15 Venezuelan writers living and working abroad.

Children’s literature: Taquititán de poemas by María Elena Maggi and Ana Carolina Palmero. An anthology of Venezuelan poems for children.

Read the full article at El Universal