On criticism, generosity and gratitude: the travels of “Writing Galicia into the World”

WritingGalicia1Those of you with long memories may remember that nearly two years ago I published my second academic book, Writing Galicia into the World: New Cartographies, New Poetics, with Liverpool University Press (you can read about it here on the LUP website). The book explores the writings of and about Galicians in London and the wider world, by authors including Isaac Díaz Pardo, Carlos Durán, Manuel Rivas, Xesús Fraga, Xelís de Toro, Almudena Solana, Ramiro Fonte, Xavier Queipo and Erin Moure.

I loved researching and writing the book, and I’m very proud of how it turned out. However, as some of you will know, the process of sending an academic book out into the world is a strange one. It’s terrifying and thrilling and exciting when you finally hold a copy in your hands and realise that perhaps, around the world, other people (other people!) are also opening it and reading those first few sentences. And you buy copies for your family and send copies to your mentors and chirp proudly about it on social media,and your friends read it and tell you what they think. And then … and then things go quiet.

The feeling of not knowing what’s happening to your book, out there in the world by itself, is disconcerting. Are people reading it – people I don’t know? What do they think? Do they get it? Will they take some of its dangling threads and run away with them? Thrillingly, this week, in the space of just a few days, two echoes of Writing Galicia‘s travels came back to me, in the shape of two wonderful, thoughtful readings by colleagues who are as immersed as I am in the reverberations of Galician culture as it travels the world. Both of them pull at the threads of the book, in different ways and to different effect. And best of all, both readings are freely available, for you and everybody to read.

You’ll find Danny Barreto’s review (it’ll open as a PDF) in the wonderful, freely-available journal galicia21, journal of contemporary galician studies (if you don’t know it, BOOKMARK IT NOW). And Erin Moure’s blog post (yes! the same Erin Moure whose poetry I read and reread and which opened so many doors in the final chapter of Writing Galicia) is over at Jacket2, a terrific website on poetry and contemporary poetics.

Gracias mil to Danny and Erin; it’s exciting and, yes, a little terrifying to know that Writing Galicia has found such responsive readers. I’m excited to follow its threads as they are woven with yours and others into colourful new contours.

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