We don’t get many new groups on Fictionaut these days, so it’s always good to find a new one, especially one with quite a few members. Roberto C. Garcia created the group Letras Caseras, and describes it as:
This group is an extension of my tumblr www.letrascaseras.tumblr.com.
It is my sincere hope to continue the wonderful work of Marcus Speh over at Kaffe in Kathmandu. I know it won’t be the same but in keeping a tradition alive perhaps we can make it new.
I’d like for this group to be more overtly political than the rest of Fictionaut, however, please share your works of beauty, protest, witness, and overall honesty. And check out and contribute to the tumblr as well.
Q (Lynn Beighley: ): Hi, Roberto. What does the phrase, “Letras Caseras,” mean, and what does it mean to you?
You say you want to continue Marcus Speh’s work from Kaffe in Kathmandu. Can you tell us about Kaffe in Kathmandu and how it influences LC?
Kaffe in Kathmandu is a Tumblr like LC, that Marcus Speh administered. He had a sizeable following of artists from all walks of life and from all over the globe that shared their work on the site. I was one of them and I really enjoyed immersing myself in those works and enjoyed the variety that Kaffe in Kathmandu had to offer. Marcus shut the site down at the end of December 2011 so I spoke to him about trying to keep that environment alive. I started Letras Caseras and Marcus has been extremely helpful and supportive.
How do you hope your site emulates or continues Marcus’ work?
The response has been very positive. I’ve received submissions from India and England so far and there is so much rich work available on Tumblr that’s ready to be shared. My fellow Fictionauts have responded enthusiastically as well and that means a lot to me. I’m hopeful that the sight will see some of the familiar faces from Kaffe in Kathmandu as well. I’d like for them to know that they have a home at Letras Caseras.
Recently, in an interview for The Paris Review, playwright August Wilson said that “All art is political in the sense that it serves someone’s politics.” So whether a writer thinks he/she is writing politically or not they are expressing their position of apathy or engagement by what they do or don’t create artistically. I believe that in a perfect world artists would apply some degree of social pressure to the academic world and to the world of governments.
I’m sure you like everything that has run, but will you share some of your favorite pieces with us?
“The Burka” by Sylvia Petter is really good, “In Paran” by Larissa Shmailo also fantastic, there are several short films I’ve re-blogged that I love, photography, and “Pitspits” by J. Mykell Collinz is another great one. It’s very hard to narrow down just a few. Those have been some favorites by fellow Fictionauts. There are some recent additions which are awesome as well from the likes of J.A. Pak, Jerry Ratch and Gessy Alvarez. I’ve also enjoyed re-blogging work from Denise Menendez’ Poets and Artists site.
What plans do you have for the site?
What are you looking for people to submit? How do you decide what will be included?
I don’t have a formula or preference for contributions to LC. I enjoy work that engages the issues in fresh and creative ways but that’s not the only thing I will post to the site. Engaging work, regardless of its subject matter, deserves to be shared.
The Fictionaut group functions as another group within Fictionaut for writers to share their work with writers. Yes the work can/should follow along the lines of the group’s aim but most importantly it is about Fictionaut’s mission of community. I’ll grab a piece from the group sometimes but if anyone has something to submit the best way to do it is via the Tumblr itself. There’s a little cog in the top left corner, clicking on it opens a small menu where the submit icon is.