Literary affair in Panama

The Atlapa Convention Center in Panama's capital opens its doors today to the 10th International Book Fair (FIL, for its acronym in Spanish) that has invited Mexico as the guest country to bring literary and artistic vitality to this lettered festival, according to the organizers and participating authors.

The Panamanian writer and storyteller Enrique Jaramillo Levy said the perspective brought in this latest version of the FIL by the participation of the delegation of Mexico is "interesting" from all viewpoints.

"Mexico is a very important publishing hub, perhaps the most important in Latin America, and publishers representative of that country's literary production is coming [to the fair]," commented Jaramillo Levy, who began his writing career in Mexico City in the '70s under the initial guidance of Juan Rulfo (1917-1986).

Also an editor and cultural promoter, Jaramillo Levy added that the Mexican delegation will also be bringing to FIL 2014, which ends on Sunday, a "fairly large flow" of writers, such as Juan Villoro, Jorge Volpi, Mónica Lavin, Rosa Beltrán, and Paola Tinoco.

At the fair Jaramillo Levy and his Foro Taller Sagitario Ediciones, which opened last year with Carolina Fonseca, will present three books, one of them an anthology of 30 writers, 15 Panamanians and 15 Mexicans.

This anthology of storytellers is titled "Scenarios and Provocations: Women Storytellers of Panama and Mexico" and was compiled by Carolina Fonseca and Mónica Lavín.

Renowned Panamanian novelist Rosa María Britton stated that " like always we expect a large audience at the fair," and noted that there will be "so many presentations that there would be too many to list."

In its 180 square-meter pavilion, Mexico will showcase more than 6,000 titles of all literary genres, in addition to a sampling of its film, cuisine, theater, painting, and reading promotion activities.

Mexican authors Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, and Efraín Huerta will be remembered at the 10th International Book Fair of Panama.

In addition to Mexico, authors from other countries will attend the Panama FIL. From Spain, J.J. Armas Marcelo, Juan Bonilla, José Marchamalo, and Marta Robles will participate as part of the program Letters from Spain coordinated by the Spanish embassy in Panama.

J.J. Benítez is another author coming from Spain, whereas Sergio Ramírez Mercada and the poet Giconda Belli will be representing Nicaragua.

Panamanian writers will also present their most recent works at the 10th Book Fair.

Atlapa has always hosted the Book Fair since its inception in 2001, and once again this year it will be the venue for complementary events like workshops, lectures and seminars on cultural and literary topics like copyright, music, theater, and reading promotion.