Behind the Scenes with Martha Batiz, author of Kamp Westerbork

There is the age-old question of whether an artist’s personal life should impact your perception of their work. In this episode Martha walks us through how she came to focus on Pablo Neruda.

Featured in Latinos Magazine among the Top Ten Most Successful Mexicans in Canada, and named also one of the Top Ten Most Influential Hispanic-Canadians, Martha Bátiz was born and raised in Mexico City, but has been living in Toronto since 2003. Her articles, chronicles, reviews and short stories have appeared in diverse newspapers and magazines not only in her homeland, but also in Spain, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Peru, Ireland, England, the United States and Canada.

Martha has penned two short-story collections in Spanish: A todos los voy a matar (I’m Going To Kill Them All, Castillo Press, Mexico, 2000), and De tránsito (In Transit, Terranova Editores, Puerto Rico, 2014). Her award-winning novella Boca de lobo was originally published in Spanish both in the Dominican Republic and in Mexico (in 2007 and 2008, respectively), and released in its first English translation as The Wolf’s Mouth (Exile Editions, 2009). In 2018 it appeared in its French version as La Gueule du Loup (Lugar Común Editorial), and in a new English edition under the title Damiana’s Reprieve (Exile Editions). Boca de lobo is also available through Audible as an Audiobook in Spanish since 2021.

Editor of the anthology Desde el norte: Narrativa canadiense contemporánea (UAM, 2015), Martha is also part of the editorial committee of the successful books Historias de Toronto and Historias de Montreal (Lugar Común, 2016 and 2019, respectively). She holds a PhD in Latin American Literature and is an ATA-certified literary translator. Besides being the founder and instructor of the Creative Writing in Spanish course currently offered by the School of Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto, she is a part-time professor at three universities in the GTA where she teaches Spanish language and literature as well as translation.

Martha is also the author of two short-story collections in English, the first one titled Plaza Requiem: Stories at the Edge of Ordinary Lives (Exile Editions, 2017), winner of the 2018 International Latino Book Award in the category of “Best Popular Fiction: English.” The second and most recent is No Stars in the Sky, published by House of Anansi Press in May 2022.

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