update – COVID 19
We wish our friends, authors, readers and supporters safety, solidarity and health during this pandemic.
t r a c e is currently exploring new ways to engage with communities, both locally and globally, during this crisis. If you'd like to connect or share ideas, please email us (contact at tracepress.org) or find us on twitter (@tracepress)
We believe that the books we publish and the publics we create are even more meaningful and necessary in this time of global crisis and transformation.
We welcome your support.
We invite contributions in the following areas:
– literary translations (especially Afro-Arab-Asian poetry, essays and fiction)
– genre-breaking short texts or essays from activist-intellectuals & writers that provoke, unsettle, and explore new possibilities at a time of unprecedented global transformation.
– multi-genre, multi-disciplinary anthologies that juxtapose vital voices in conversation
t r a c e prioritizes the voices of those who have, themselves, experienced war, conflict, displacement, and migration. We value the words of those historically marginalized within inequitable publishing cultures.
"Lives Lost: In Search of a New Tomorrow reminds us of our collective responsibility to disturb silences and unsettle complicities with regimes of terror. Read this poem as a call for solidarity to abolish prison, torture, and execution anywhere in this world."
— Shahrzad Mojab
This richly illustrated bilingual edition of Saeed Yousef's poem connects generations, exiles, and diasporas by bringing together the work of an activist-intellectual, a radical poet, and the careful and attentive labour of a translator and illustrator to insist on the work of art and memory in refusing state censorship and silence.
(Code TRACE-LL-20 for a 20% discount)
On collective memory, creative collaboration, and public pedagogy
Mojab described herself as "stunned" and "haunted" by the poem when she first read it. It is a remarkable distillation of a complex story of state violence and resistance into a powerful esthetic representation that serves as a form of grassroots, popular remembering. Though it is well known in Persian, she knew she wanted to do what she could to broaden its reach, and this volume that includes both the original and an English translation is one result.
(Talking Radical Radio. August 2020)
Simone Weil Davis. World Literature Today (Autumn 2020)
In Lives Lost, it is the dead who narrate. The poem’s heroes are talking not from the safe harbor of an imagined afterlife but via the blunt expressivity of their new corpsification, their exposed, irrefutable materiality, just as their wills that said no also remain.
In Ava Raha’s haunting illustrations, rosy blood splashes and pools, but the figures of the executed refuse to dissolve.
Esmail Khoi. Poet. UK/Iran
... Saeed Yousef manages, with a pretended coolness, to control his fury, for it to reach its height in a silent explosion in the reader's mind...
Nima Mina. "Literatur des Widerstandes..."
The 37 epigrammatic texts... provide snapshots from the prisons of the Islamic Republic in 1988, immediately before and after the mass murder of political prisoners... the lyrical voice assigns a symbolism to every macabre picture... the inhumanity shown in them almost borders on the absurd.
Lokchi Lam, Film-maker. Canada/Hong Kong
Lives Lost: In Search of a New Tomorrow is a merciless crime scene testimony, a wrenching immersion in a vital history of struggle. Illustrated with mesmerizing watercolours – brutal and poetic expressions of grief. Highly recommended.
support our work
At a time of unprecedented global change, t r a c e invites writers and readers to build community and solidarity through small books and events.
Your donations allow t r a c e to publish new manuscripts that illuminate the complex spaces, times, and languages we live in.
t r a c e prioritizes the voices of those who have, themselves, experienced war, conflict, displacement and migration. We value the voices of those historically marginalized within the inequitable publishing cultures of North America. t r a c e is a not-for-profit press.
locations / displacements
We ask our writers, translators, artists, and readers to question borders and unsettle various forms of local and global colonialism and coloniality. We are grateful to do our work in Tkaronto in solidarity with diverse indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island who continue to gather upon the traditional lands of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat.
This territory was the subject of the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant, an agreement between the Iroquois Confederacy and Confederacy of the Ojibwe and allied nations to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.