Category: Translation

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...

As It Happened: Translation at the Brooklyn Book Festival

This year's Brooklyn Book Festival feature two presentations by the PEN Translation Committee of the PEN American Center in New York. If you couldn't make it, fear not: Words without Borders was and below you'll find a round-up of these two exciting events. As It...

August, 2015

An Excerpt from “Beauty is a Wound”

Having cleaned his armor and made a full helmet out of a simple headpiece, and having given a name to his horse and decided on one for himself, he realized that the only thing left for him to do was to find a lady to love, for the knight errant without a lady-love was a tree without...

July, 2015

From the Translator: How to Translate a Circle

The difficulty of translating a circle is not the geometry. In an analog age, I might have written my English version on a turntable. Indeed, Simone Kornappel’s mystifying poem “as a mouse” most resembles a vinyl record: a discus that flaunts its Platonic form before...

June, 2015

Dispatch from Florence’s Festival degli Scrittori

The ninth annual Festival degli Scrittori and the Premio von Rezzori, a Florence-based literary festival that culminates in a ceremony conferring the Premio von Rezzori for best foreign literary work and best translation of a foreign work, was held from June 10 through  June 12, 2015....

Translation in Transition at Barnard College: Highlights from Day 2

The Translation in Transition conference held at Columbia University’s Barnard College in May featured nineteen panelists and three round table participants from colleges and universities across the country. Organized collectively by the Center for Translation Studies at Barnard...

December, 2014

The New Normal: On Cuba and the Power of Translation

During the historic speech on December 17, 2014, when he announced the normalization of relations with Cuba, Barack Obama turned to address the Cuban people directly. He began with a citation from José Martí: "Liberty is the right of every man to be honest." Cultural...

May, 2013

Where Are the Women in Translation?

I’ve never been good at math, or maybe I should say, I never liked math enough to be good at it, even if I did get the odd A in the subject in high school. So I don’t have a clue how to divide 3% by 26%, for example. I searched on the Internet, and found calculators that were...

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