Repression? The Meter's Running

In February, word of the most ridiculous sort was handed down by the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control: U.S. publishers are forbidden from editing works authored in countries under trade embargoes. (Check out Adam Liptak's article in the February 29 New York Times, available from the Global Policy Forum and PEN.) Now come the brave folks at New York-based Circumference: Poetry in Translation, issuing a call for submissions in direct contradiction to the announced ban on editing of works authored in such places as Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, and Cuba. The journal gets right to the point, saying in part: "As editors of Circumference, a journal founded on principles of free and open exchange, we want to respond to this issue in the most direct way that we can. We would like to dedicate a substantial section of our second issue to poetry from these countries. We are firm in our belief that not only do we have the right to do this, but that translators working from the languages of these countries are providing an incomparable and necessary service to audiences in this country. Cross-cultural exchange through poetry and translation is a force to be reckoned with."

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