Ammiel Alcalay, scholar, critic, translator, poet and prose stylist, author of The Cairo Notebooks,makes a rare appearance in San Francisco to celebrate the publication by City Lights Books of his new book, Memories of Our Future: Selected Essays, 1982-1997. He will read from his work, old and new, and then will be joined on stage by San Francisco poet and translator Norma Cole, who will ask him about his multifold talents and accomplishments, and his translation as activism. With this event Small Press Traffic launches "In To View," a new series which hopes to illuminate in a discursive mode the issues, concerns and unspoken assumptions of the best writers of our day.

"Over the past fifteen years," writes Alcalay, "I have focused primarily on Hebrew and Jewish literature of the Middle East, in its Islamic, Levantine Arabic, and Israeli contexts. My work on Bosnia during the war in former Yugoslavia has entailed similar efforts at creating the cultural space for unfamiliar works to emerge. Throughout, my work as poet and prose-writer remains a crucial reference point, representing a kind of standard in form and content that I insist my other writing (and translation) adheres to." Alcalay's poetry, prose, reviews, critical articles and translations have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker, Time Magazine, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The Jerusalem Post, Grand Street, Conjunctions, Sulfur, The Nation, Middle East Report, Afterimage, Parnassus, City Lights Review, Review of Jewish Social Studies, The Review of Contemporary Fiction, The Michigan Quarterly, Caliban, Paper Air, Paintbrush, Mediterraneans,and various other publications.

November 12, 1999