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June, 2016

From the Translator: A Lunar Sorority

Image: Phases of the Moon. (CC0 Public Domain.) Anton Hur’s translation of Jeon Sam-hye’s “Genesis” appears in the June 2016 issue of Words without Borders: “The Queer Issue VII.” Insofar as a translator can be “well-known,” I am...

WWB Weekend: Some Like it Marilyn

Hollywood legend Marilyn Monroe would have turned ninety this week. Beyond her impact in the US, her image permeated international popular culture as well, as suggested by the far-flung origins of the WWB pieces in which she’s featured. Sometimes she makes only a cameo appearance:...

Teaching in Translation: Bennington Translates

From translator Sarah Ponichtera’s presentation on postwar Yiddish poetry and prose. (J.J. Beck for Bennington College.) “All of a sudden, I’m seeing translation everywhere! Gracias! Merci! Toda raba!” I was so thrilled with this exclamation by an...

May, 2016

The City and the Writer: In Qadita with Ala Hlehel

Image: Ala Hlehel, photograph by Bianca Sistermans   Special Series: Literary Maps   City of Origin: Qadita (District of Safad), the village was destroyed in 1948 City of Birth: Al-Jish (District of Safad) City/Cities you grew up in: Al-Jish Current...

WWB Weekend: Memories and Wars

Image: WWII Memorial, Canberra, Creative Commons CC0. With Barack Obama visiting Hiroshima and Vietnam, and Memorial Day around the corner, the US is awash in memories of its wars and those lost in them. We’re turning to our archives to extend the commemoration to those who...

From the Translator: On Translating Yoss and Anabel Enríquez Piñeiro

Image: Wikimedia Commons. Hillary Gulley’s translation of Yoss’s “Interstellar Biochocolate Mousse á la solitaire . . . For Two” and Anabel Enríquez Piñeiro’s “Nothing to Declare” appear in the...

From the Translator: The Song Remains the Same?

Images: David Bowie, 1974; Silvia Pérez Cruz, 2008; Édith Piaf, 1962 (Wikimedia Commons).      Esther Allen’s translation of Erick J. Mota’s “The Bleeding Hands of Castaways” appears in the May 2016 issue...

WWB Weekend: A Man Booker-Inspired Menu

We’re thrilled that Han Kang and her translator, Deborah Smith, carried off the Man Booker International Prize this week for The Vegetarian. WWB ran an excerpt from that singular book in our April 2014 South Korean issue, and if it’s made you hungry for more, we invite...

Remembering Lakshmi Holmström

“The most difficult part of translation is, I believe, finding the ‘right’ pitch and voice of the original, and to try and match that. I won’t say ‘replicate’; that’s impossible. But there is also the hard graft of familiarizing oneself with the...

WWB EVENT — Back to the Future: Cuban Sci-fi Now

Image: Douglas Pérez, "Pictopía III: Still I Have a Dream," 2009, Courtesy of the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection. Celebrate WWB's current issue and discover Cuban science fiction at the Bronx Museum of the Arts! Explore the world...

The City and the Writer: In Jerusalem with Liana Badr

Special Series: Literary Maps   City of Origin: Hebron City of Birth: Jerusalem City/Cities you grew up in: Jerusalem and Jericho Current Residence: Ramallah Your City/Cities: Jerusalem, Jericho  Language(s) spoken: Arabic and English Language(s) you write in: Arabic Home:...

WWB Weekend: Before Eurovision, Havana Bolero

As the Eurovision song competition reaches for its final high note, we’re crooning along with Leonardo Padura’s humid “Nine Nights with Amada Luna,” from our July 2008 Revolutions issue. In the Havana of 1967, a country boy—“innocent, Catholic,...

From the Translator: Fictions of the Cuban Diamond

Image: Cuba vs. Puerto Rico at the 1986 Baseball World Cup. Wikimedia Commons. Dick Cluster’s translation of Eduardo del Llano’s “Swimming Upstream” appears in the May 2016 issue of Words without Borders: On Cuban Time: New Writing...

Rebecca Liao and Cristóbal Pera Join WWB Board

Words Without Borders is pleased to announce the election of Rebecca Liao and Cristóbal Pera to its board of directors. “We are delighted to welcome Rebecca Liao and Cristóbal Pera to the Words Without Borders board of directors,” said Samantha Schnee, Chair....

The Watchlist: May 2016

Every month, from the reviews desk to you, Words without Borders editor M. Bartley Seigel shares a handful of new and noteworthy titles he’s excited about. He thinks you should be excited about them, too. From Oneworld Publications, Masha Regina by Vadim Levental, translated from...

When the Woman Writes the Poem Herself: On Alejandra Pizarnik

Image: Alejandra Pizarnik in a public park in Buenos Aires, photographed by Sara Facio. Alejandra Pizarnik’s Extracting the Stone of Madness has a loaded title: “Extracting the stone” (it’s the same in Spanish: Extracción de la...

WWB Weekend: The Danger of Saying “Madre” in Mexico

At the intersection of Cinco de Mayo (May 5) and Mother’s Day (May 8), we’re celebrating both holidays with a look back at Liza Bakewell’s essay “My Madre, Pure as Cumulous Clouds,” from our February 2006 issue of new Mexican writing. In an...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: Literary Quest: Westbeth Edition

Alexandre Vidal Porto reads from his novel Sergio Y. Photo: Bruna Dantas Lobato. I grabbed a map of the Westbeth Artists Housing in the West Village and traced a plan for the evening of salon-style readings, part of the PEN World Voices Festival. On Thursday, April 28, residents of...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: Translation Slam

Michael F. Moore, Abdellah Taïa, Emma Ramadan, and Chris Clarke. Photo: Alex Zucker. At the Nuyorican Poets Cafe on Friday, April 29, Michael F. Moore hosted the Translation Slam for the PEN World Voices Festival. A festival favorite for nine years running, this year’s event...

The City and the Writer: In Ramallah with Raja Shehadeh

Author Photo: Mariana Cook, 2010 Special Series: Literary Maps   “In two and a half decades one of the world’s treasures, this biblical landscape that would have seemed familiar to a contemporary of Christ, was being changed, in some parts beyond recognition . . . . As...

The Old Man, the Mist, and a List of Dreams

Translated by Eric M. B. Becker Image: Guangzhou, Tomás Franco It’s early yet to write about China, it’s too late to write about China, it all depends on the true age of your soul (and this you’ll never know) so you offer your reader three options: a scene...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: Expats

Kwame Anthony Appiah, Jamaica Kincaid, Marlon James, Colum McCann, and Eric Banks. Photo: Bruna Dantas Lobato. The term “expatriate” is overburdened, too close to exile on the one hand and immigrant on the other. At the Instituto Cervantes on Wednesday, April 27, New...

Dispatches from the 2016 PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature

Photo: Bruna Dantas Lobato The PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature returned for its twelfth year. This year's focus was Mexican literature. Below are dispatches by Bruna Dantas Lobato, who covered the festival for WWB, and you...

April, 2016

WWB Weekend: Quixotic Visions

Portrait of Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra, Juan de Jauregui y Aguilar, Wikimedia Commons  Last week the world mourned the death and celebrated the life of a uniquely creative, internationally famed, widely prolific, flamboyantly attired artist: Miguel de Cervantes, who died four...

From the Translator: The Zone (On “Crow, Wheels”)

Image: Collage by Ukrainian artist Grycja, grycja.tumblr.com  Oksana Maksymchuk and Max Rosochinsky’s translation of Ukrainian poet Lyuba Yakimchuk’s “Crow, Wheels” appears in the April 2016 issue of Words without Borders: Women Write War. In Andrei...

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