Discover more from The Usonian
Announcing "Delivering Views #29: Trio"
Phaneromenis70's latest publication, featuring my short story, "Silent G," is available now—in English and in Greek translation
“Though I was visiting Famagusta on business, my agenda was personal. The island of Cyprus may be known for its problem, but I had a problem with my mother-in-law.”
—from the short story “Silent G,” featured in Delivering Views #29
The rule of three is a useful idiom for storytelling and art. It takes three beats to tell a joke. Three data points to form a pattern.
And three artists, in different mediums and genres, to form a chapbook.
Delivering Views is a series published by Phaneromenis70, a cultural center in Nicosia, Cyprus, that invites outsiders to present their artistic interpretations of Cyprus. Through this process, Phaneromenis70 hopes to start new conversations about the island and its unique situations.
In Delivering Views #29: Trio, three American Fulbright fellows in Cyprus—janan alexandra, Caroline Sager, and myself—each present our artistic work.
janan’s poetry takes the reader on a lyric journey across the island—from the cat-populated alleys of Nicosia, all the way to the donkeys of Karpas.
Caroline’s singular 35 mm film photographs illuminate and document an island’s quieter moments. Her photographs accompany the text and also form the basis of postcards which accompany the chapbook.
Finally, my short story, “Silent G,” follows the story of an American widower who returns to Cyprus after the death of his Cypriot wife to visit the abandoned city of Varosha to learn about his mother-in-law’s tragic past as a refugee. What he finds will change his perceptions regarding Cyprus and his concept of memory itself.
“The difference [at Salamis] was the plaza of columns, a bath complex of stone, the foundations of tiled floors bleeding into the terrain. Headless statues, stunning mosaics hiding around corners. An amphitheater. We walked along a Roman road; the paving stones worn but still extant. I could hear the wind rustle through the eucalyptus. If I closed my eyes and got creative, maybe I could hear Latin. But here were ruins, and ruins. Just down the road were ruins also. Varosha, my final stop. Ruins that meant something. Salamis, of long-lost Rome—it was dead. For us moderns, it was an alien vista.”
—from “Silent G”
Within the publication, the story is also presented in Greek translation as “Ησυχία” (“Silence”). It is always a thrill to see your words take on a new life in another tongue. Much thanks to Andrie Rousou for her work on the translation.
The launch event on 4th of May was a joyous celebration with many of our friends that we’ve made over the past year—featuring a short reading followed by wine and zivania, the signature Cypriot spirit.
If you are in Nicosia you can view the book and its postcards on display until 18th of May. You can purchase the chapbook in person at the store, or in the near future, you can order from their online store, with shipping available to the United States [as of this posting, the book is not yet available online, but I will let you know in a future issue of The Usonian when it is available].
The cost of the book is 10 euros (12 euros with the full postcard pack, and shipping calculated at checkout) and proceeds go to Phaneromenis70, a non-profit cultural organization.
We are grateful to Kyriaki Costa and the team at Phaneromenis70 for the opportunity to share our work with the island community which we have called home over the past nine months.
This is the seventeenth post in The Cyprus Files, a limited-run newsletter series from The Usonian chronicling my Fulbright experiences in Cyprus. You can read all the posts in The Cyprus Files here. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss a (free) dispatch from the island of Aphrodite!