Latin American Literature Today Mission Statement
The mission of Latin American Literature Today (LALT) is to publish outstanding works of contemporary Latin American literature, both in their original languages and in translation to English. We publish Latin American literature in the spirit of mutual generosity and understanding across borders, hoping to be of benefit to Latin America itself and to the world that reads its writers in our digital pages. We seek to help Latin American writers by publishing their writing in English, to help Latin American readers by breaking down geographic boundaries between their countries, and to help English-language readers around the globe by inviting them to read Latin American literature in translation. With these goals in mind, we publish four quarterly issues a year, featuring fiction, poetry, interviews, essays, literary journalism, book reviews, and more.
The title of Latin American Literature Today—like that of our parent publication, World Literature Today—is itself a product of the literary imagination. There is no one Latin America, just as there is no one world. Rather, this term floats in a broth of cultural, linguistic, and geographic ambiguity, forever redefined and challenged by those who are assigned its demonym. At LALT, we support this constant, critical reevaluation, and approach Latin America as the hybrid entity it is, seeking to represent its writers at home and abroad regardless of the individual complexities of their identities.
The following are key points of our editorial line:
- Our publication criteria are strictly literary. We believe in the power and importance of great literature, and we are honored to put great literature in motion between lands and languages.
- Our journal is entirely multilingual, with every text published both in its original language—be it Spanish, Portuguese, or an Indigenous language—and in English translation.
- We make a conscious effort to emphasize women writers, up-and-coming writers, writers who are well known in their own languages but little known in English, writers who are well known in their own countries but little known outside their national borders, and once-known writers who are at risk of being forgotten.
- We see translators as essential figures in the literary landscape. We seek to place them on equal footing to writers, and we include critical reflections from translators in every issue.
- We adhere to a fluid understanding of the term “Latin American.” As such, we have featured work by Chicanx writers, immigrant writers from Latin America to the United States, immigrant writers from Europe to Latin America, Black and Indigenous writers from various communities, and queer and gender-nonconforming writers from various countries.
- We hold space for Indigenous authors and Indigenous languages in every issue. We believe in the need to honor Indigenous creativity and preserve the linguistic diversity of Latin America.
- We publish a collection of bilingual book reviews in every issue, featuring some books available in English translation and others available only in their original language. We are proud to serve as guides for English-language readers and ushers for Latin American writers, helping the two come together in moments of literary encounter.
Latin American Literature Today forms part of the World Literature Today organization, along with the journals World Literature Today, World Literature Today in Chinese, and Chinese Literature Today, under the leadership of Executive Director Dr. Robert Con Davis-Undiano. World Literature Today has existed for over ninety years as a publication of the University of Oklahoma. Latin American Literature Today seeks to emulate World Literature Today’s mission of achieving excellence as a literary publication, and to attain recognition of the same order garnered by WLT from the Nobel Prize committee, which called our parent publication “one of the best edited and most informative literary publications” in the world.
Latin American Literature Today is a proud recipient of the 2021 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize in the digital category. We further seek to live up to the words of praise received from the prize jury:
“Only four years old, Latin American Literature Today is an astoundingly ambitious publication, an essential literary bridge across the Americas distinguished by its fully bilingual issues featuring the greatest contemporary writing in Spanish and indigenous languages. LALT has built an impressive network of contributing editors, providing a first port of call for authors and translators seeking an English-language audience. Its website provides rich context, publishing individual dossiers that track a writer’s evolution, helping readers toward a deeper understanding. LALT already feels indispensable to American and international intellectual life.”