The nuestra palabra Series: A Taste of Hispanic Canadian Literature

Guillermo Rose, founder of the nuestra palabra contest

Guillermo Rose, founder of the nuestra palabra contest

Since its first edition in 2004, the nuestra palabra Short Story Competition has become the most important annual event in the nascent realm of Hispanic Canadian literature. The contest has recognized the talents of both new and established Hispanic Canadian writers of short fiction, and contributed to the creation of a space in Canada for literature for the Spanish speakers, the fastest growing minority language community in the country.

Last year, Diálogos Online Forum embarked on a project in collaboration with nuestra palabra, along with the assistance of several independent translators and translation students at York University’s Glendon College, to produce English translations of the first prize winners of the first ten years of the nuestra palabra competition (2004-2013). Through this initiative, English-speaking Canadians now have access to the work of these Hispanic Canadian writers, giving them the opportunity to explore a new literary movement that has been burgeoning in their own country in recent years.

The ten stories that make up this collection reflect the diversity of Hispanic Canadian fiction, both in terms of author origins (Argentina, Cuba, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) and in terms of chosen subject matter, as while some of the stories explore the challenges faced by immigrants settling in Canada (Ihosvany Hernández Gonzalez, Francisco García González), others conjure up images of the author’s homeland (Yoel Isaac Díaz León, Pablo Salinas, Delma Gil Wilson), and still others explore aspects of the human condition in which geographical location is irrelevant (Gabriela Etcheverry, Juan Francisco Matamoros, Ramón de Elía).

The English translations of all ten award-winning short stories are now on the Forum, and we invite our readers to read them to enjoy an experience of some of the finest short fiction produced in the last decade in the emerging genre of Hispanic Canadian literature. The stories can be accessed by clicking on the links below:

First Prize Winner 2004: “Stations” by Ramón de Elía, translated by Cecilia Rose

First Prize Winner 2005: “Old Fear” by Yoel Isaac Díaz León, translated by Martin Boyd

First Prize Winner 2006: “141 Rue” by Ángel Fernández (Gélico), translated by Martin Boyd

First Prize Winner 2007: “Night Queen” by Juan Francisco Matamoros, translated by Martin Boyd

First Prize Winner 2008: “Our Words” by Gabriela Etcheverry, translated by the author

First Prize Winner 2009: “Huachipa Cemetery” by Pablo Salinas, translated by Martin Boyd

First Prize Winner 2010: “The Man with a Mission” by Ihosvany Hernández González, translated by Liam Walke

First Prize Winner 2011: “Remember Clifford” by Francisco García González, translated by Jessica Kish

First Prize Winner 2012: “The Butterfly Cage” by Delma Gil Wilson, translated by Martin Boyd

First Prize Winner 2013: “Hate Also Ages You” by Francisco García González, translated by David Morsillo

I’d like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to Guillermo Rose, founding director of the nuestra palabra short story competition, and to all the translators and proofreaders who assisted with this project.

Martin Boyd

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