Thursday, May 7, 2009


Annnnnnnnd I'm back!

Cliterati In Mongolia: Part Deux.

The Redux is here.

It's my new blog for this new chapter in the Mongolian saga...bookmark it and I'll see you there!



Monday, November 3, 2008


Okay guys, I did sort of fizzle out on this blog without a Sweeping Farewell. I left Mongolia for the Luce Scholar Wrapup Session in Cambodia in early July, having completed my 11-month stay in that insane frozen desert full of drunk Buddhist nomads with hearts of poets and robes like Genghis Khan's. There's obviously so much to say about the incredible adventure of my Luce Scholar year working as the International Relations Advisor to the Mongolian Writer's Union that I filled a blog with nearly 200 posts about it!

And the response has been enormous and overwhelmingly humbling. Cliterati In Mongolia was getting hits from over 40 countries all over the world by winter, and the traffic didn't stop even when my posts did. For every reader from every part of the world who took the time to stop by I offer my deepest gratitude that Mongolia, its writers, and the scope and possibilities of the literary landscape there were all things you chose to devote some moments to through this blog.

The year was a fantastic one on many levels, but for me personally it was about carving out a path toward that space at the intersection of social justice issues and literary goings-on. There's a lot to do in that space, and it turned out to include even more than the wonderful process of editing books and translating poems! Facilitating the formation of a Mongolian PEN Center, for one. Assisting an exiled writer in the process of acquiring UNHCR Refugee Status, for another.

Oh, is there work to be done! There is, there is. My year in Asia showed me what's possible and also what's necessary. From literary translation to diplomacy, you can rest assured that I will continue the work I started in Mongolia. I just moved last week to New York, and I am very much looking forward to linking up with the Mongolian community here and especially the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center. I am still in contact with all of my favorite Mongolian literary leaders and writers thanks to the wonderful invention that is email. I'll still post any pertinent info on this blog. Thank you again for all the support. What a wonderful year it was!

Update: so I was all set to put up my writing on a new blog that would underscore the idea of personal as political (very American, I know) and link to the larger message of progress and the need for sustained work on the political landscape (which, of course, to me means sustained work on the personal and creative landscape) championed by President-elect Obama--but we all know I am long-winded so Tumblr was a silly choice of venue. Back to the drawing board! I'll check in soon.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I got an email recently from a Mr. Ide at the Japanese PEN Center. Japan PEN is hoping to host the annual PEN World Congress in 2010, and over the past four days a couple of representatives from Japan PEN were in Mongolia holding workshops for Mongolian writers on PEN Center Formation. It's a long shot, but possible that Mongolian writers will get it together enough to, like, apply formally to be a PEN center! The only obstacle at this point is the one that had made itself apparent during my year there: that an open-door policy, which would be required, does not appeal to Mongolian writers just yet. We'll see. They did sign the charter, and the buzz and momentum continues, as this most recent visit from Japan PEN proves, so I remain optimistic.