Blogger poet Gary Lawless with Cuban poets in Trinidad, Cuba, at the House of Culture
for a really informative essay on the Treasury Dept.'s embargo on written work, please check out www.wordswithoutborders.org/article.php?lab=EAllen
The literature embargo has been changing over the last few months, due to public pressure, articles in places like the New York Times book review, and the threat of court cases by publishers.
One author, Shirin Ebadi,Iranian activist, judge, lawyer and winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, had little hope of seeing her book in print in her own country, but was surprised to learn that any US publisher who decided to publish her book would have risked up to 10 years in jail and fines starting at $250,000 under the Treasury Department's embargo laws.
Ms. Ebadie and publisher Arcade Books, joined the Association of American University Presses and PEN American Center in a lawsuit against the U S Treasury Dept. (Arcade and the PEN Center are readying to publish an anthology of post-revolution Iranian writers.
The Treasury dept. has somewhat relaxed the embargo on written work, but the embargo still covers those who work for the Cuban government. I have been working with Cuban poet Manuel Alberto Garcia Alonso, who is a poet, novelist, actor, theater director, and a cultural director in the Cuban city of Trinidad. Since Cuba is a socialist republic, almost everyone works for the government. Are Manuel Alberto's poems illegal in the US?
Ken Rodgers/Kyoto Journalhttp://pen.org/corefreedoms/90.htmlwww.thetranslationproject.comwww.alternet.org/story/20247/