Month: September 2018

Return of “Car Poems” & Welcome “Anti-Genre”: Submit Writing for Fall 2018

We’re back in gear as the fall draws near. We invite readers to submit new poems for publication when “Car Poems” resumes in late September 2018. The email address for “Car Poems” submissions is or through the Politics/Letters submission link. In addition to “Car Poems,” which focuses on poems about cars, travel, transport, driving, or anything remotely related to the road and its inhabitants, we’re launching a new literary section. Titled Anti-Genre, this new section resists conventional literary boundaries. Submissions may include or combine fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, video, sound, and cross-genre explorations. Submit previously unpublished writings for this...

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The Victory of the Village Voice

Kevin McAuliffe wrote a book subtitled The Rise and Fall of the Village Voice in 1978, six years before I arrived there and 23 years after the Voice’s founding. Ed Fancher, who started the paper along with Dan Wolf and Norman Mailer, has noted that the three of them fought in World War II and began the Voice in part as a response to the closed and defensive mood that took hold after 1945: there was “a feeling that there should be an open society, and that would require an open sort of newspaper, which The Village Voice was.”...

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Is Tourism the Only Thing Killing Barcelona?

La Rambla on a warm summer night: tourists, tat, prostitutes, and more tourists. A few days ago, The Guardian published a piece titled “Why Tourism is Killing Barcelona” that describes the damage that “overtourism” is causing in this city. However, to complete the picture (and since the comments section of the Guardian article is closed), I would like to point out some other things killing the city as well. Drugs. Heroin is back, and Barcelona’s heroin is among the cheapest in Europe. Sometimes it sells for as little as 5€ a fix. How do I know? I live in El Raval, where there are dozens of “narcopisos” (drug dens), which are mostly bank-repossessed flats squatted by drug traffickers. The junkies, many of them homeless, are from all over Europe and elsewhere; speaking English, Italian, German, and Dutch, among other languages. Now I suppose we could say that they are “narcotourists,” but what is certain is that they are attracted to the city not by its sights, but by the apparent leniency of local law enforcement, which is concentrating its efforts on jihadist terrorism ever since the attacks of one year ago. Dirt. In my 17 years of living in Barcelona, I have never seen so much trash in the streets. The city’s cleaning crews can’t keep up. Is it all tourists’ garbage? A good part of it is, yes, but much of...

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