• Fernando Pessoa Collage
    Saudade, Hiraeth, and Hüzün

    Writer Israel Centeno’s ‘search to ascribe a tangible meaning to the oblique feeling that goes above and beyond simple nostalgia’ has led him to a close reading of Fernando Pessoa’s works and the stories of Venezuelan writer Enza García Arreaza.

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  • Hiraeth and Black Sand
    Black Sand and Hiraeth

    Continuing with his discussion on exile, writer Israel Centeno offers an examination of the word “hiraeth” – “that unattainable yearning felt for a person, figure, or even nation that probably never existed” – and a reading of Black Sand, a novel by Venezuelan author Juan Carlos Méndez Guedéz.

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  • Aleph
    Notes on Leaving

    “When you face up to those in power you always do it from the periphery, whether you are in a neighborhood in Maracaibo, a housing estate in Valencia, a university in Caracas, or in any other part of the world.” Venezuelan writer Israel Centeno on exile and the ongoing struggle with having left.

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  • Student Protest
    Existential Exile

    “My exile began long ago, before I left Venezuela.” Author Israel Centeno – former City of Asylum Pittsburgh exiled writer-in-residence – on how the extreme political polarization and violence that swept through the country in recent years has torn apart relationships and his beloved Caracas.

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  • Randyland Entrance
    Live, Love, Laugh, and Create

    Egyptian writer and Sampsonia Way columnist Hamdy El-Gazzar shares his notes from a recent stay at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh earlier this month. In this account, he stumbles upon the fun-filled art project Randyland, which is just around the corner from COAP writers’ residences.

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  • Randyland Entrance
    Live, Laugh, Love, and Create (Arabic Text)

    Egyptian writer and Sampsonia Way columnist Hamdy El-Gazzar shares his notes from a recent stay at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh earlier this month. In this account, he stumbles upon the fun-filled art project Randyland, which is just around the corner from COAP’s writer residences.

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  • The Village Indian
    The Village Indian by Abbas Khider

    The Village Indian tells author Abbas Khider’s own story of exile. With elements of both tragedy and comedy, the following excerpt – Chapter 6: The Miracles – details the many “miracles” that allow Khider’s fictional protagonist, Rasul Hamid, to flee from Iraq to Germany.

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