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The Jews of Key West

THE JEWS OF KEY WEST:
SMUGGLERS, CIGAR MAKERS, AND REVOLUTIONARIES (1823-1969)

by Arlo Haskell
Coming November 15, 2017
jewsofkeywest.com
The Jews of Key West

The dramatic story of South Florida’s oldest Jewish community and a major addition to the history of this unique island city.

Long before Miami was on the map, Key West had Florida’s largest economy and an influential Jewish community. Jews who settled here as peddlers in the nineteenth century joined a bilingual and progressive city that became the launching pad for the revolution that toppled the Spanish Empire in Cuba. As dozens of local Jews collaborated with José Martí’s rebels, they built relationships that supported thriving Jewish communities in Key West and Havana at the turn of the twentieth century. During the 1920s, when anti-immigration hysteria swept the United States, Key West’s Jews resisted the immigration quotas and established “the southernmost terminal of the Jewish underground,” smuggling Jewish aliens in small boats across the Florida Straits to safety in Key West. But these and other Jewish exploits were kept secret as Ku Klux Klan leaders infiltrated local law enforcement and government. Many Jews left Key West during the 1930s and their stories were ignored or forgotten by the mythmakers that reinvented Key West as a tourist mecca.

Arlo Haskell’s The Jews of Key West is is an entertaining and authoritative account of Key West’s Jewish community from 1823-1969. Illustrated with over 100 images, it brings to life a history that had long been forgotten.

Author Arlo Haskell is executive director of the Key West Literary Seminar. He is also the author of the poetry collection, Joker, and the editor of poetry volumes by Harry Mathews and Héctor Viel Temperley. Born and raised in the Florida Keys, he lives with his family in Key West.

PRAISE FOR THE JEWS OF KEY WEST:

Think you know Key West? Think again. Arlo Haskell’s new book uncovers in fascinating and vivid detail the story of the immense impact the Jewish community has had on the basic culture of Key West. Whether it’s the black community, the Cubans, the cigar factories, the peddlers, Prohibition, smuggling, immigration, or real estate you are interested in, this book will have wonderful surprises and multiple delights for you. Haskell gives us Key West before it was Hemingwaylaid. It’s a terrific, absorbing read; I could not put it down.”
—Robert D. Richardson
Bancroft Prize-winning biographer of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and William James.

“If, like me, you were always puzzled about why Jews from Germany or Eastern Europe would locate themselves anywhere but New York, you will rejoice that Arlo Haskell has written The Jews of Key West. His brilliant and fast-paced narrative dazzlingly combines breadth of vision and grasp of detail. Anyone at all interested in the subject will be completely satisfied by this wonderful book.”
—Phyllis Rose
Author of Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages and The Shelf: Adventures in Extreme Reading.

DETAILS:

Publication Date: November 15, 2017
$24.00 | 200 pages
Nonfiction/History/Jewish

Deluxe Paperback: French flaps, printed inside cover, printed endsheets. Illustrated with over 100 full-color plates. Index, Bibliography.

Trim Size: 9.25 in H | 6.5 in W

ISBN: 978-0-9843312-7-7

Library of Congress Control Number: 2017910065

Distributed by:
Small Press Distribution
1341 Seventh Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
phone: 800-869-7553

or direct from the publisher:
Sand Paper Press
716 Love Lane
Key West, FL 33040
phone: 305-395-1899

Publicity Contact:
publicity@sandpaperpress.net
305-395-1899

Posted: July 16th, 2017
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Belleza y Felicidad

BELLEZA Y FELICIDAD
Selected Writings of Fernanda Laguna and Cecilia Pavón
Translated by Stuart Krimko
(February, 2015)

As the Argentine economy went into freefall at the end of the last millennium, two young women—Fernanda Laguna and Cecilia Pavón—met and became friends. Fernanda, a painter and poet who also publishes fiction under the nom de plume Dalia Rosetti, and Cecilia, a poet and translator, soon forged the radically creative partnership now known as Belleza y Felicidad.

Belleza began as an art-supply store and storefront gallery whose exhibitions blurred the demarcations between art, community, and commerce. It grew into a small press, publishing unknown young writers alongside some of Argentina’s most respected literary figures in a series of photocopied pamphlets. As Belleza emerged into a movement and inspired a community, Fernanda and Cecilia broadcast its ethos—”a complete program of resistance,” as César Aira once described it—through a prodigious output of poetry and fiction.

Now a generous selection of Laguna and Pavón’s literary output is available in English translation for the first time. In this intimately informal body of work, each author appears as a character in the other’s poems and stories, pushing fingers through the gauze between art and life and flying in the face of canonical Argentine literature. Its emotional immediacy and startling aesthetic insights situate Laguna and Pavón among the most vital young poets working in any language.

With an introduction by translator Stuart Krimko, this authoritative volume transmits the urgency and passionate feeling at the heart of one of the most exciting artistic and literary movements to emerge from South America in recent decades.

“Belleza y Felicidad, both the place and the idea, live on in the irresistible pleasures of Cecilia’s and Fernanda’s poems and stories. Upon revisiting them now I find that they are in fact high-precision lenses for seeing the daily utopias of reality.”

—CÉSAR AIRA—

“This book is a paradise of love. Eminent, charismatic, & frolicsome, it’s also the magic transcription of a friendship, i.e. a romance (several!), the kind I spent my misspent youth envying in Montaigne & La Boetie. Ecstatics of childlike candor & polymorphous grace, Fernanda Laguna & Cecilia Pavón are absolute women, guileless dreamers, saints in sneakers, on sidewalks, in jail, in Zara, on buses, in nightclubs, in bed, about to turn 29, & 37, & 7. I can’t wait for everyone in america to read this book & never be the same again.”

—ARIANA REINES—

“Fernanda Laguna and Cecilia Pavón are legendary writers, domesticating the world in order to make it the subject of their ‘domestic’ poetry. They are voracious and understand everything. Stuart Krimko’s translations capture the totalizing effect of their writings beautifully.”

—CHRIS KRAUS—

Posted: April 29th, 2011
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The Last Books of Héctor Viel Temperley

THE LAST BOOKS OF HÉCTOR VIEL TEMPERLEY
Translated by Stuart Krimko
December 10, 2011

In his final two books, Héctor Viel Temperley sought to create a complete world, a surreal realm of profound spirituality that would be attained through intensely physical experience. In “Crawl,” the first of two book-length poems included here, a swimmer pulls his body alongside an urban coast, pounded by thunderstorms. His determined strokes establish the rhythm for an ecstatic meditation upon spirit and flesh, a tireless quest for secrets located “between the eye that trembles / and the eye of the abyss.” Viel Temperley’s pursuit would take on even greater urgency in “Hospital Británico,” written as the poet recovered from brain surgery, and named for the facility in which he was treated. This final, kaleidoscopic opus is a radical and literal recreation of his life’s work, a “version” of his present embedded by “splinters” from his past—boxers, pimps, sailors, sharks, and swimmers—that crests toward the future with the inexorable power of prayer.

With an introduction by translator Stuart Krimko, and Viel Temperley’s sole published interview (with filmmaker and author Sergio Bizzio), this bilingual edition introduces the English-speaking public to one of Argentina’s most original and elusive poets.

HÉCTOR VIEL TEMPERLEY was born in Buenos Aires in 1933 and died there in 1987. He was the author of nine collections of poetry, including The Swimmer, Nautical Chart, and Foreign Legion. Though he did not give readings and his books were often published in limited editions, Viel Temperley has become recognized in the Argentine literary community as one of the singular poets of his generation. He is perhaps best known for the spiritual intensity and unusual formal structures that characterize his final two books, Crawl and Hospital Británico.

Translator STUART KRIMKO is the author of three collections of poetry, including The Sweetness of Herbert (Sand Paper Press, 2009) and Hymns and Essays (Mal-O-Mar, 2012).

The Last Books of Hector Viel Temperley
“Stuart Krimko’s translation into English beautifully reproduces [Viel Temperley’s] rhythmic reverberations … and maintains, with an awe-inspiring precision, the lyric potency of the Spanish originals.”
—BOMB Magazine

“It’s rare to read anything that so totally perceives the book and body as recipes for each other, the connection between the serial and the infinite as so intimate.”
—Sink Review

“With the original Spanish poems and their English versions facing each other on each page, the book works on the reader like a shocking, non-symmetrical butterfly would on the eyes—two wings suggesting symmetry, but still evading it, evoking the beauty as well as the impossibility of translation’s task.”
—International Poetry Library of San Francisco

Posted: April 28th, 2011
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The New Tourism

THE NEW TOURISM
by Harry Mathews
2010 / Second Printing, 2011
A Times Literary Supplement “Book of the Year.”

In Harry Mathews’s first collection of poetry in nearly 20 years, a legend of the American avant-garde unveils compelling anomalies including the prose sestina, didactic gastronomy, and a haiku sequence—a diary of discrete (if not so discreet) late-night improvisations on the familiar Japanese three-line form. The central section collects poems of terse lyricism devoted to the unpredictable deviations between intention and desire—the landscape of the new tourism.

Born in New York in 1930, Harry Mathews settled in Europe in 1952 and has since then lived in Spain, Germany, Italy, and (chiefly) France. When Mathews published his first poems in 1956, he was associated with the so-called New York School of poets, with three of whom (John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, and James Schuyler) he founded the review Locus Solus in 1961. Through his friendship with Georges Perec, he became a member of the Oulipo in 1972. The author of six novels and several collections of poetry, his most recent publications are Sainte Catherine, a novella written in French (Éditions P.O.L, 2000), The Human Country: the Collected Short Stories (Dalkey Archive Press, 2002), The Case of the Persevering Maltese: Collected Essays (Dalkey Archive Press, 2003), Oulipo Compendium (co-edited with Alastair Brotchie; Atlas Press and Make Now Press, 2005), and My Life in CIA: A Chronicle of 1973 (Dalkey Archive Press, 2005).

Harry Mathews The New Tourism
“Where is it I came from
And where is it I’m stranded?
Part of the maps is black
And the rest’s in borrowed language.”

Posted: April 27th, 2011
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Fire at the End of the Rainbow

FIRE AT THE END OF THE RAINBOW
by Shawn Vandor
2009
Fire at the End of the Rainbow is a candid and discomfiting jaunt through Shawn Vandor’s real life. Here are tales of revolving-door lust gone awry and strange encounters in the homes of Hollywood and Harvard stars. Through paeans to prostitutes, recreational drug use, sphincter failure, and the joys of buying jewelry at Tiffany & Co., Vandor shares a humorous and humiliating look at the quotidian misadventures of a single American man.

Shawn Vandor is currently the Visiting Scholar of Reproductive Ethics in the Philosophy Dept. at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR. His afterlife novel Forever Forever is forthcoming.

Fire at the End of the Rainbow by Shawn Vandor
“A poised and unusual performance… Fire at the End of the Rainbow is uncommonly accomplished and harrowing.”
Dossier

Posted: April 26th, 2011
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The Sweetness of Herbert

Stuart Krimko is the author of The Sweetness of Herbert (2009) and the translator of The Last Books of Héctor Viel Temperley (2011), both from Sand Paper Press. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Fence, Maggy, the Poetry Foundation website, Post Road, and Vanitas. His first book from Sand Paper, Not That Light, was published in 2006 and received a grant from the Fund for Poetry. Krimko has worked for many years in the art world, holding directorial positions with Max Protetch Gallery in New York and David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles. A third collection of poems, Hymns and Essays (2012), is available from Mal-O-Mar.

THE SWEETNESS OF HERBERT
by Stuart Krimko
2009
The English poet George Herbert (1593-1633) developed simple, auric figures and parables that chart trajectories of hope and despair. In The Sweetness Of Herbert, his second book of poetry, Stuart Krimko uses a wide range of formal techniques in an attempt to test the efficacy of Herbert’s existential coping methods. The boredom of daily life, the almost-certain entropic effects of the passage of time, and the surprising enthusiasm that is somehow born of these conditions all come under review. No formal rock is left unturned, as Krimko uses and abuses rhyme, enjambment, syntax, and varied diction like grimy wooden playthings. References to Judy Blume, Rogaine, spring break, William Blake, Gabriel, the Commodore 64, and the poet’s own name are made, exemplifying Krimko’s belief that, “Even when the world is menacing, it sings.”

The Sweetness of Herbert by Stuart Krimko
“Stuart Krimko’s poetry is ineffably light, intensely serious, and full of bewitching surprises. Each time I read him, I love the world again.”
—Harry Mathews

Posted: April 25th, 2011
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Joker

JOKER
by Arlo Haskell
2009
Joker presents an imagined world comfortably isolated from the sensibilities of American life. Set in Key West, Haskell’s poems address end-of-the-road promise and frustration marked by dazzling sea and sky, pervasive alcoholism, and an uneasy social hierarchy of tourists, real-estate speculators, and service-industry workers. By turns candid and deceitful, maudlin and maddeningly reticent, Haskell’s masked narratives are full of wry insight into the technological and political upheavals of “this lucky accidental country.”

Arlo Haskell is the publisher of Sand Paper Press and executive director of the Key West Literary Seminar. Recent poems, book reviews, and interviews have appeared in Maggy, The Miami Rail, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications. Many more interviews and essays appear on Littoral, the blog Haskell edits for the Key West Literary Seminar.

Joker by Arlo Haskell
“Arlo Haskell's quietly gripping poems conjure an ambience as temperate and welcoming as ocean air.”
—John Ashbery

Posted: April 24th, 2011
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