Veracruz University, México
Writer and Japanese poetry translator
Cristina Rascón is the author of the haiku books Reflejos (Reflexes) and Zoológico de palabritas (Little Words’ Zoo), this last for children. She has published several short stories, chronicles, essays, and flash-fiction books: Mi Patagonia (My Patagonia), En voz alta (In Loud Voice), El sonido de las hojas (The Sound of the Leaves), Puede que un sahuaro seas tú (Perhaps ne Sahuaro Is You), Hanami (To See the Flowers Bloom), Cuentráficos Deluxe (Storytraffics Deluxe), and Economía del arte (Economics of the Arts), among others. Her topics and characters are set in the north of Mexico where she grew up, as well as in Japan, Austria, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, China, and other countries where she has lived as a student, writer in residence, translator, and consultant for United Nations and other agencies.
Cristina translated the book Flor del alba (Sunrise Flower), a collection of haiku by Chiyo-ni, from Japanese into Spanish in a trilingual version (Japanese-Spanish-Nahuatl), in collaboration with Mardonio Carballo and several Japanese haiku poets, for magazines and anthologies in Mexico, Spain, and Japan. Other Japanese poetry books she has translated include Sin conocer el mundo (Without Knowing the World) and Dos mil millones de años luz de soledad (Two Billion Light Years of Solitude) by Shuntarō Tanikawa, and Agend’Ars by Keijiro Suga. From English into Spanish she translated the book Una selección de 1000 poemas japoneses (A Selection of One Thousand Japanese Poems) by Robert Filliou and the novel Collages by Anaïs Nin.
Rascón has received the Latin American Short Story Award Benemérito de América, the Mexican Northwestern Literature Prize, the Sonora State Prize of Culture and Arts and the Sonora State Short Story Award. She graduated from a Masters degree in international public policy from Osaka University and from the Asian studies program from Kansai Foreign Studies University (Kansai Gaidai), both in Japan. She is currently completing a PhD program on Hispanic-American Literature in the University of Veracruz, in Mexico. Her dissertation is on Hispanic-American Haiku.
Rascón translated and published the first online Japanese-Spanish kigo (season word) dictionary www.haikukigo.com, which includes her version of a Mexican kiyose (lists of categorized season words). She was national coordinator of literature in Mexico for the National Institute of Arts (INBAL) where she created a national indigenous literature prize, an indigenous literature seminar, a flash-fiction national prize, and haiku workshops. Previously, with her now-deceased partner and writer, Mauricio Molina, Rascón cofounded Skribalia: Global School for Writers Online, where she was the director and professor of haiku workshops. In Sonora, she created and coordinated the first bilingual literary contest, “Jiosiata Nooki” (Yaqui-Mayo-Spanish).
Rascón’s fiction, essays, poetry, and haiku have been translated for publications, readings, and anthologies in Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico, Peru, and the United States, among other countries. She teaches creative writing (narrative, poetry, tanka, and haiku) as well as Japanese literature in several national and international institutions. She is a member of the Mexican Association for Japan Government Scholarship Graduates (AMEJ) and cofounder/member of the Mexican Association of Literary Translators (AMETLI). She was also appointed as a member of the National System of Artistic Creators (SNCA), a national life-long distinction for which she has been one of the youngest writers to be selected.
Rascón’s website is www.cristinarascon.com.mx. You can find her on Facebook at Cristina Rascón-Escritora, and on Twitter at @Crisapple76.