Category: Translation

May, 2016

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

April, 2016

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...

On Translation: Push and Dig

Reading Haviva Pedaya’s “A Poem for Rachel Corrie”   Haviva Pedaya’s poem, “A Poem for Rachel Corrie” (in Hebrew, “Shir le-Rachel Corrie”) was written in the immediate aftermath of the death of the American activist Rachel...

WWB Weekend: Walt Whitman in Baghdad

April is National Poetry Month, and we're spotlighting the over eight hundred poems in our archives. We do hope you'll read several at a sitting: As Ilya Kaminsky notes in his brilliant introduction to our Ecco Anthology of International Poetry, reading collections of...

WWB at AWP

WWB's panel at AWP: Karen Emmerich and Kareem James Abu-Zeid (top photo); Edward Gauvin, Shabnam Nadiya, and Susan Harris (bottom photo) Last week, WWB was in Los Angeles for the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference. Editorial director Susan Harris...

New Fiction in Translation: From “Paris Vagabond”

Photograph: Patrice Molinard Jean Paul-Clébert's Paris Vagabond will be published by New York Review Books on April 12, 2016. The forthcoming edition is translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith and accompanied by the photographs of Clébert's...

Tweeting our Greatest Hits for #NPM16

In honor of National Poetry Month, Words Without Borders will be tweeting some of the best worldwide poetry in translation from our archives, selected by our editorial director Susan Harris. We begin with Burundian poet Ketty Nivyabandi's "Izina." In the coming weeks, look...

March, 2016

An Interview with Najat El Hachmi

Words Without Borders speaks with Moroccan-Catalan writer Najat El Hachmi about language, identity, and the possibilities and limits of translation. Writer Najat El Hachmi (left) and her novel La filla estrangera (right) Najat El Hachmi was born in Morocco...

From the Translator: On “A Red Lighter in the Heart of M.”

Collusion in French Watermelon Sugar. Collaboration through a Common Denominator. Abbaye Sainte-Marie de Lagrasse, a Benedictine abbey rebuilt in the late eight century, and the location of the translation residency where Chris Clarke met Mohammed El Khadiri, whose story A Red...

From the Translator: On “They Told You”

Olivia Baes's translation of Khadija Arouhal's They Told You appears in the March 2016 Words without Borders issue on Moroccan literature. When Emma Ramadan asked me to translate Khadija Arouhal’s poem “They Told You,” I was honored and...

From the Translator: On “Photogrammes”

Emma Ramadan guest-edited the March 2016 Words without Borders issue on Moroccan literature. The issue included her translations of poems from Ahmed Bouanani’s collection, Photogrammes, which she completed while on a Fulbright grant in Morocco....

WWB Shortlisted for London Book Fair Award

We are thrilled to be shortlisted for The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2016 for The Literary Translation Initiative Award alongside our friends Archipelago Books and Paper Republic. The award celebrates organizations that have succeeded in raising the profile of...

February, 2016

Q&A with Festival Neue Literatur’s Ross Benjamin

Words without Borders spoke with Festival Neue Literatur curator Ross Benjamin about FNL’s seventh annual celebration of German-language literature from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, which will take place from February 25–28 in New York City.  Words without...

First Read: “Performing Writers”

For Rob List   In the story I am about to tell, three Bulgarian writers have been invited to a literary reading in a small English city with notable architecture and an unpronounceable name that begins with D. However, their translator has mysteriously disappeared, along with the...

New Fiction in Translation: From “The Life of Elves”

The practice room of Maestro Gustavo Acciavatti was located on the top floor of a fine building, with high casement windows that let the sun transform the parquet floor into a lake of liquid light. The man seated at the keyboard seemed both very young and very old, and when she met his...

January, 2016

New Fiction in Translation: “Island”

I drink with my hands and dance with my feet, Hans says, look over here, I’m right here. There’s nothing to see over there. A plastic bottle drifts along the shore and Richard says: the current is fast today. Not faster than yesterday, Hans says, you’re not going to...

New Fiction in Translation: From “Lost Words”

The following is an excerpt from Nicola Gardini's novel Lost Words, translated by Michael Moore and out January 25 from New Directions. The novel is a meditation on class and language, told through a coming of age story set inside a working-class apartment...

November, 2015

New Fiction in Translation: From “The Boys”

Image of New Fiction in Translation: From “The Boys”
The following is an excerpt from Toni Sala's short novel The Boys, translated by Mara Faye Lethem and out November 10 from Two Lines Press. The novel opens in the once-bucolic Catalonian village of Vidreres. Ravaged by a harsh recession, the town now has to come to...

October, 2015

João and Maria: An Excerpt from Susana Moreira Marques’s “Now and at the Hour of our Death”

Image of João and Maria: An Excerpt from Susana Moreira Marques’s “Now and at the Hour of our Death”
The following is an excerpt from Susana Moreira Marques's Now and at the Hour of our Death, a nonfiction work that resulted from Moreira Marques's trip with a palliative care team to Trás-os-Montes, a forgotten corner of northern Portugal, a rural area...

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