Aquel vuelo clandestino de noche.
Con peligro de ser derribados. La noche serena.
El cielo lleno, llenísimo de estrellas. La Vía Láctea
clarísima tras el grueso vidrio de la ventanilla,
masa blancuzca y rutilante en la noche negra.
Con sus millones de procesos de evoluciones y revoluciones,
íbamos sobre el mar para evitar la aviación somocista,
pero cerca de la costa.
E pequeño avión volando bajo, y volando lento.
Primero las luces de Rivas, tomada y retomada por los sandinistas,
ahora a medias en poder de los sandinistas.
Después otras luces: Granada, en poder de la Guardia
(sería atacada esa noche).

Ernesto Cardenal, Cántico Cósmico

The bird's eye upon the land is a recurring motif in Nicaraguan literature, be it in the imperialist gaze of engineers and travelers in the nineteenth century suggesting an easy route for the (never built) interoceanic canal or in the revolutionary poetry of Cardenal, in which the flights over Nicaragua express longing, mourning, and hope for revolution. The topic of Central American space, environments, infrastructure projects, transits, and passages is one that has accompanied me throughout my many years working on Central American literature and culture: from José Coronel Urtecho and 'his' San Juan River, Cardenal and 'his' Solentiname, to the Nicaragua and Panama Canals and the South-North, North-South, and East-West migrations running through the isthmus.

Central America and the guerrilla period and the aftermath of Cold War are another research arean of mine--see for example my first book, Modernity at Gunpoint. I have written about the Sandinista Revolution (1970s-1980s), especially the music of Mejía Godoy brothers (their double album, Canto épico al FSLN, is my personal favorite), and the literature of Gioconda Belli, Sergio Ramírez, and Omar Cabezas. With regard to Salvadoran literature, I work on the literature of Claudia Hernández, Jacinta Escudos, and Horacio Castellanos Moya, and in terms of literature from Guatemala or Guatemalans in exile, I work on the literature of Augusto Monterroso, Rigoberta Menchú, and Mario Payeras. My research interests in Central American literature are vast, stretching from militarism, the Left & humor, to gender, the environment, and animals. I'm also interested in analyzing and discussing the circulation and diversities of Central American literatures and worlds, as I do, together with many of my esteemed colleagues, in this edited volume on Central American Literature as World Literature.