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Israel Centeno

Participants will have absolute freedom to create a collective book using excerpts, verses and words to invent the atmosphere and develop their own ideas on exile.”

A member of Pittsburgh’s City of Asylum, Venezuelan writer-in-exile Israel Centeno came to the House #8A to explore themes of exile and liberty. Using his manuscript, “Bamboo City,” Centeno encouraged visitors to use found texts, illustration, to create a literary Bamboo City on Governors Island. A room of #8A was dressed in paper and cloth, simulating a bamboo forest, with excerpts of “Bamboo City” floating amongst the installation.


Israel Centeno (Caracas, 1958) has published sixteen books, mostly novels, but also short fiction and poetry. Through his narratives he conveys a sense of the many shortcomings of a society that feeds on grandiose historical myths that lead to poverty and violence. His fictions also accommodate his own experiences as an exile. He currently lives in Pittsburgh, where until 2013 he has been Exiled Writer in Residence in City of Asylum. His novel The Conspiracy will be published by Phonema Media publishers, LA.