Recently Past EventsDecember 10, 2014 6:00 pm
New York Public Library, Main Branch
Wall Painting for Nara's Cabin, 2006. Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles ©Yoshitomo Nara
Words without Borders and the New York Public Library present a discussion of the vibrant and compelling world of international YA. Join our distinguished panelists, including Padma Venkatraman, Briony Everroad, Roxanne Hsu-Feldman, and Arthur A. Levine in a wide-ranging conversation about diversity and international voices in YA writing today, moderated by editor, author and professor of Library Sciences Marc Aronson. This event coincides with the launch of WWB’s December issue, dedicated to the best new YA writing from around the world, from countries including Georgia, Bangladesh, Germany, Norway, South Korea, and many more.
Where: New York Public Library Schwarzman Building, South Court auditorium, (42nd Street and 5th Avenue)
When: December 10, 2014, 6 PM
About the Panelists
Marc Aronson earned his doctorate in American History at NYU while working as an editor of books for young readers. Among many awards and honors, he was the first winner of the American Library Association's Robert F. Sibert medal for best informational book for readers through age 14 and the editor of the tenth medal winner. Dr. Aronson teaches in the graduate library school at Rutgers where he trains school and public librarians, and frequently speaks at state, national, and international conferences on materials for children and teenagers. He and his wife, the novelist Marina Budhos, will publish their second co-authored book, The Eyes of the World: The Story of Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, in 2016.
Briony Everroad is a freelance editor based in San Francisco. Over ten years at Random House UK, she published such diverse works as Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole series and George Orwell’s A Life in Letters. She also edited and contributed to the View from This Bridge blog. Briony has always been passionate about international writing, and in 2010 founded the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize to celebrate the achievements of new and emerging translators. She has been a guest speaker at many translated literature events and has attended literature symposiums across the globe. Her love of stories from around the world began with the novels of Astrid Lindgren and deepened as she discovered the many thought-provoking novels written for young adults. Briony was a consultant for the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature by Daniel Hahn.
Roxanne Hsu Feldman grew up in Taiwan and taught English in Middle School before coming to the United States to study children's literature. She received a Master's in Children's Literature from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College in 1991 and has since worked exclusively in the field of children's and young adult literature. She worked as a Rights Assistant for Macmillan Children's Books, sold children's books at the legendary Eeyore's Books for Children, served as Children's Librarian at The New York Public Library and has been the Middle School Librarian at New York City's Dalton School for the last 18 years. Roxanne has served on the Newbery Committee twice and is currently a member of the Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee
Arthur A. Levine is Vice President and Publisher of Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. Throughout his career, Levine has edited and championed great novelists from around the English-speaking world, including Philip Pullman, J.K. Rowling, Kevin Crossley-Holland, Jaclyn Moriarty, Markus Zusak, Roddy Doyle, Martine Murray, Leah Bobet, Martin Mordecai, and Sally Nicholls, along with the marvelous picture books of Shaun Tan and the acclaimed duo of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. He is also a leading publisher of books-in-translation, introducing American children to such great writers as Daniella Carmi (Israel), Josef Holub and Wolfgang Herrndorf (Germany), Luis Sepulveda (Chile), Laura Gallego Garcia (Spain), Silvana Gandolfi (Italy), Nahoko Uehashi and Komako Sakai (Japan), Sylvie Weil (France), Guus Kuijer, Karlijn Stoffels, and Marcel Prins (the Netherlands), and Anne Provoost (Belgium). We are especially proud to be bringing out the first contemporary YA translated from the Russian, Playing the Part by Daria Wilke, coming in March of 2015.
Padma Venkatraman (www.padmasbooks.blogspot.com) was born in Chennai, India, and became an American citizen after attaining a PhD in oceanography from The College of William and Mary. She is also the author of Island's End, which was an ALA Best Book of the Year, an ALA/Amelia Bloomer List selection, a CCBC Best Book, a Booklist Editor's Choice, and a Kirkus Best Book of the Year. Her Climbing the Stairs won the Julia Ward Howe award and was a Book Sense Notable, Booklist Best Book of the Year, Bank Street College of Education Best Book, New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, YALSA BBYA selection, Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, and CCBC Choice. Her latest novel, A Time to Dance, was released in May 2014 to starred reviews in Kirkus, Booklist, VOYA, SLJ, and BCCB, and is a Booklist Top 10 art book for youth
Co-presented by Words without Borders and the New York Public Library
October 28, 2014 6:30 pm
Tribeca Three Sixty
Check back in August 2014 for more details!
For information on how to be a 2014 Words without Borders Gala Sponsor, contact us at [email protected].
October 14, 2014 7:00 pm
When: Tuesday, October 14, 7:00
In celebration of its October 2014 issue of new writing from Guatemala, Words without Borders and Community Bookstore will host a bilingual reading and discussion with Eduardo Halfon, Rodrigo Fuentes, and Idra Novey. We hope you'll come out to help us celebrate Guatemalan literature.
Eduardo Halfon was born in Guatemala City, moved to the United States at the age of ten, went to school in South Florida, studied Industrial Engineering at North Carolina State University, and then returned to Guatemala to teach literature for eight years at Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Named one of the best young Latin American writers by the Hay Festival of Bogotá, he is also the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the prestigious José María de Pereda Prize for the Short Novel. He has published eleven books of fiction in Spanish. The Polish Boxer (Bellevue Literary Press), his first book to appear in English, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice selection and finalist for the International Latino Book Award. Halfon currently lives in Nebraska and frequently travels to Guatemala. His latest English translation, Monastery (Bellevue Literary Press) is forthcoming in October 2014.
Rodrigo Fuentes (Guatemala) has received the short story awards II Premio Centroamericano de Carátula de Cuento Breve (2014) and Premio de Cuento de Juegos Florales de Quetzaltenango (2008). His stories have appeared in the anthologies Asamblea Portátil: Muestrario de narradores iberoamericanos (Casatomada, 2009), Sólo Cuento III (UNAM, 2011), Ni hermosa ni maldita (Alfaguara, 2012), and Voces-30: Nueva Narrativa Latinoamericana (Patagonia Ebooks, 2014). He is co-founder and editor of the contemporary art and fiction magazine Suelta and of the digital publisher Traviesa.
Idra Novey is the author most recently of Clarice: The Visitor, a collection of poems and images in collaboration with Erica Baum. Her debut novel Ways to Disappear is forthcoming from Little, Brown in 2016. Earlier poetry collections include Exit, Civilian, selected for the 2011 National Poetry Series, and The Next Country, a finalist for the 2008 Foreword Book of the Year Award in poetry. Her most recent translation is Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector’s novel The Passion According to G.H. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.
September 16, 2014 7:00 pm
Israel Centeno (Caracas, 1958) has published thirteen books, mostly novels, but also short fiction and poetry. His books include the novels Calletania (Monte Ávila, 1992; Periférica, 2010), Exilio en Bowery (Troya, 1998; Nuevo Espacio, New Jersey, 2000), El Complot (Alfadil, 2002), and Bajo las hojas (Alfaguara, 2010). He has published two books of short stories: El rabo del diablo y otros cuentos (Eclepsidra, 1993) and Criaturas de la noche (Alfaguara, 2000, 2011). He currently lives, with his wife and two daughters, in Pittsburgh, where until 2013 he has been Exiled Writer in Residence in City of Asylum. Sampsonia Way has published his novel The Conspiracy in an English translation by Guillermo Parra.
Nathalie Handal is the author of numerous books, most recently Poet in Andalucía; Love and Strange Horses, winner of the 2011 Gold Medal Independent Publisher Book Award; and the W.W. Norton landmark anthology Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond. Her plays have been produced at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Bush Theatre and Westminster Abbey, London. Her poetry, stories and literary travel articles have appeared in Vanity Fair, Guernica, the Guardian, the Nation, and other publications. Handal is a Lannan Foundation Fellow, winner of the Alejo Zuloaga Order in Literature 2011, and Honored Finalist for the Gift of Freedom Award, among other honors.
Kayhan Irani was born in Bombay, India and was raised on the mean streets of Queens, NYC. She is an Emmy award winner, a Fulbright Fellow and a Theater of the Oppressed trainer. Kayhan loves playing theater games.
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo was born in Havana in 1971 and came to the US in March 2013. In Cuba he published the narratives Collage karaoke (2001), Empezar de cero (2001), Ipatrias (2005) and Mi nombre es William Saroyan (2006). His novel, Boring Home, was censored by the Letras Cubanas publishing house in 2009 and then published by Garamond (Paris, 2009) and El Nacional (Caracas, 2013). In Cuba he was an independent journalist and photographer. He is the webmaster of the blogs Lunes de Postrevolución and Boring Home Utopics and the founding editor of the magazine Voces. He contributes columns to Diario de Cuba (Madrid, Spain), Sampsonia Way (Pittsburgh, Penn.), and El Nacional (Caracas). In 2014 OR Books published his anthology of new Cuban narrative writing, Cuba in Splinters. He is a visiting fellow at Brown University for the current academic year. Restless Books will publish his book of photographs and essays, Abandoned Havana, this October.
May 01, 2014 7:00 pm
163 Court Street, Brooklyn, NY
This event is free and open to the public. Seating is limited--please RSVP.
Join us for a lively panel discussion and reading in celebration of the May 2014 issue of Words without Borders featuring new Dutch and Flemish writing on taboos. Joseph O'Neill will moderate a conversation with Victor Schiferli, Sanneke van Hassel, and Annelies Verbeke.
The Netherlands has an international reputation as a freewheeling country, a permissive society in which activities considered marginal or criminal elsewhere are allowed, if not encouraged. Even in this relaxed context, however, some taboos remain. The May 2014 of Words without Borders will be dedicated to “Taboos: New Dutch and Flemish Writing.” The Dutch and Flemish writers presented here explore transgression—from drug and sexual addiction to parental resentment and unfiltered speech—to provide fascinating insights into contemporary Dutch and Flemish culture.
This event is supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York, and is presented in partnership with Flanders House, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, the Flemish Literature Fund, and BookCourt.
About the panelists:
Joseph O'Neill grew up in The Hague. He is the author of four books, most recently Netherland. A new novel, The Dog, appears in September.
Sanneke van Hassel (b. 1971, the Netherlands) studied theater arts and cultural history. Her debut collection of short stories IJsregen (Ice Rain), published in 2005, was nominated for several literary awards. She is the author of Sarajevo: Pieces of Sarajevo (2006); Witte veder (White Feather, 2007), for which she received the BNG Literary Award; Nest (2010), her first novel; and Ezels (Donkeys, 2012). In 2012, together with Flemish writer Annelies Verbeke, she published an anthology of short stories from around the world, Naar de stad (To the City, 2012).
Victor Schiferli (b. 1967, the Netherlands) is a writer and poet and an advisor at the Dutch Foundation for Literature (www.letterenfonds.nl), supporting the translation of books from the Netherlands. Between 2001 and 2007 he was commissioning editor at De Bezige Bij, one of the country’s leading publishing houses. He made his debut with the poetry collection Aan een open raam (At An Open Window, 2000, nominated for the C. Buddingh debut of the year award), followed by Verdwenen obers (Disappeared Waiters, 2005) and Toespraak in een struik (A Speech In the Bushes, 2008, nominated for the Hugues C. Pernath Prize). His first novel, Dromen van Schalkwilk (Dreams of Schalkwijk), was published in 2012. He has edited several anthologies and has also worked as a journalist, critic, and photographer.
Annelies Verbeke’s debut novel Sleep! was published by De Geus (the Netherlands, 2003). She is also the author of the novels Giant and Saving Fish, two collections of short stories (Greener Grass and Assumptions—the latter a “novel in stories”), a collection of journalistic stories (Awake, together with photographer Charlie De Keersmaecker) and, most recently, the graphic novella Tirol Inferno with illustrator Klaas Verplancke. Her work has been translated into 22 languages and has won numerous prizes. She has written scripts for the theater and for television, and regularly writes for newspapers. She is a great lover of short stories, and has written on the subject in various publications, contributed to short story festivals around Europe, and produced Naar de Stad (To the City), an anthology of short stories from around the world, along with author Sanneke Van Hassel. Verbeke is a board member of PEN Belgium (Dutch-speaking). She lives in Ghent, Belgium. www.anneliesverbeke.be
April 25, 2014 7:00 pm
1517 W. Fullerton Ave, Chicago
Voices of Protest draws attention to the plight of exiled authors and celebrates a global literature. The Guild Literary Complex will host Manal Al-Sheikh (Iraq) and Mazen Maarouf (Palestine), two poets currently living in exile in Scandinavia because their work as writers and journalists has endangered their existence in their countries.
As part of this program, two short films will be screened which are included in Poets of Protest, an Al Jazeera produced documentary series by British filmmaker Roxana Vilk. The series focuses on six Middle Eastern authors and the relationship of their work to initiatives for democracy and social justice across the Middle East. Screenings will be followed by readings from Al-Sheikh and Maarouf.
Support for Voices of Protest is provided by the MacArthur Foundation International Connections Fund. It is co-sponsored by Facets Multi-Media, Al Jazeera America, Words Without Borders, and HotHouse.
February 26, 2014 3:11 pm
Where: 61 Local, 61 Bergen Street, Brooklyn
When: February 26, 7 PM
In The Man Who Loved Dogs, Leonardo Padura explores one of the most compelling and complex political plots of the last century—the assassination of Leon Trotsky by Ramón Mercader in Mexico City. Kirkus calls the novel a “complex, ever-deepening tale of politics and intrigue . . . worthy of Alan Furst or Roberto Bolaño.”
Join Leonardo Padura, translator Anna Kushner, and Words without Borders reviews editor Jonathan Blitzer for a reading from The Man Who Loved Dogs and a discussion of the author’s work.
Praise for The Man Who Loved Dogs
“ . . . leav[es] the reader with the exhilarating feeling of having just experienced three entire lives.” Publishers Weekly
“Leonardo Padura [is] without a doubt the best Cuban writer of our time…” Thierry Clermont, Le Figaro
“It is a measure of Padura’s humanity and skill as a novelist that the reader can at least empathise with all three characters despite their cruel actions and manifest flaws.—John Thornbill, the Financial Times
About the panelists:
Leonardo Padura was born in Havana, Cuba in 1955. A novelist, journalist, and critic, he is the author of several novels, two volumes of short stories, and several nonfiction collections. His novels featuring the detective Mario Conde have been translated into many languages and have won literary prizes around the world. The Man Who Loved Dogs was a finalist for the Book of the Year Award in Spain. Padura lives in Havana.
Anna Kushner translates from Spanish, French, and Portuguese. She is the translator of the books The Halfway House by Guillermo Rosales (New Directions), The Autobiography of Fidel Castro by Norberto Fuentes (W.W. Norton), Jerusalem by Gonçalo Tavares (Dalkey Archive), Leapfrog by Guillermo Rosales (New Directions), and The Man Who Loved Dogs by Leonardo Padura (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). Her writing has appeared in Dzanc Books Best of the Web 2008, the Bucks County Writer, Crab Orchard Review, Ep;phany, and Wild River Review.
Jonathan Blitzer is the book reviews editor at Words without Borders. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Nation, among other places. He is on the editorial staff of the New Yorker.
March 22, 2013 7:00 pm
52 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012
Words without Borders and SPAIN arts & culture a present an anthology of some of Spain’s most prized and untranslated literary works.
McNally Jackson Books hosts a discussion with Spanish authors Tono Masoliver Ródenas and Berta Vías Mahou, translators Gregory Rabassa (translator of Benet and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude) and Anne McLean, Words Without Borders Executive Director Joshua Mandelbaum, and co-editor of Spain’s Great Untranslated Aurelio Major. They will discuss the anthology, contemporary Spanish literature, and the importance of modern literary translation.
Spain’s Great Untranslated (Words Without Borders March 2013 issue and accompanying anthology) features works by Spanish authors Juan Eduardo Zúñiga, Cristina Fernández Cubas, Miquel de Palol, Pedro Zarraluki, Fernando Aramburu, Ignacio Martínez de Pisón, Berta Vías Mahou, Antonio Gamoneda, Tono Masoliver, Pere Gimferrer, Olvido García Valdés, and César Antonio Molina.
October 30, 2012 6:00 pm
UPDATE: The Words without Borders 2012 Benefit Dinner has been canceled due to severe weather. We thank you all for your support and understanding.
We invite you to join Words without Borders on October 30, 2012, in celebration of literature’s power to connect individuals across linguistic, cultural, and national boundaries. This year’s event will include a tribute to James H. Ottaway, Jr., our founding chair, for his leadership during the formative years of Words without Borders. Leon Botstein, noted conductor and President of Bard College, will introduce Mr. Ottaway. We will also celebrate the literature and culture of China, with a short reading of contemporary Chinese writing by Wenguang Huang, author of the memoir The Little Red Guard (Riverhead 2012), of contemporary Chinese writing.
Chair: Teresa Melhado
Host Committee: Dominick Anfuso, Maria B. Campbell, Kim Elliman, Jonathan Galassi, Alane Salierno Mason, James H. Ottaway, Jr., Michael Pietsch, Jonathan Schorr, Samantha Schnee, and Margo Viscus
Table Hosts: André Aciman, Lila Azam Zanganeh, Carmen Boullosa, Peter Cameron, Jonathan Franzen, Francisco Goldman, Edith Grossman, Wenguang Huang, Katie Kitamura and Hari Kunzru, George Packer and Laura Secor, Roxana Saberi, Hannah Tinti, and Eliot Weinberger
October 15, 2012 7:00 pm
163 Court St., Brooklyn, NY
The Polish Boxer, Presented by Words Without Borders & Bellevue Literary Press
Reading, Audience Q&A, and Book Signing
About The Polish Boxer:
The Polish Boxer covers a vast landscape of human experience while enfolding a search for origins: a grandson tries to make sense of his Polish grandfather’s past and the story behind his numbered tattoo; a Serbian classical pianist longs for his forbidden heritage; a Mayan poet is torn between his studies and filial obligations; a striking young Israeli woman seeks answers in Central America; a university professor yearns for knowledge that he can’t find in books and discovers something unexpected at a Mark Twain conference. Drawn to what lies beyond the range of reason, they all reach for the beautiful and fleeting, whether through humor, music, poetry, or unspoken words. Across his encounters with each of them, the narrator—a Guatemalan literature professor and writer named Eduardo Halfon—pursues his most enigmatic subject: himself.
Mapping the geography of identity in a world scarred by a legacy of violence and exile, The Polish Boxer marks the debut of a major new Latin American voice in English.
”Eduardo Halfon’s prose is delicate, precise, and as ineffable as precocious art—a lighthouse that illuminates everything.” —FRANCISCO GOLDMAN, author of Say Her Name
“Eduardo Halfon is a brilliant storyteller, whose gifts are displayed on every page of this beautiful, daring, and deeply humane book.” —DANIEL ALARCÓN, author of War by Candlelight and Lost City Radio
“Eduardo Halfon belongs to a new generation of Latin American writers who, from the beginning, demonstrate an impeccable mastery of their craft, without any hesitation in the use of language.” —SERGIO RAMÍREZ, former Vice President of Nicaragua and author of Margarita, How Beautiful the Sea
September 15, 2012 8:15 pm
266 Broome Street, New York, NY
Part of Lit Crawl NYC: litcrawl.org/nyc
Down and Dirty Round the World returns to Lit Crawl NYC with translators Allison Markin Powell and Alex Zucker, and acclaimed Mexican author Carmen Boullosa, presenting their favorite hard-boiled, pulpy, and erotic pieces of literature in translation. It will be an evening of voyeuristic authors, Czech brothels, and cult-fighting samurai.
Carmen Boullosa is one of Mexico’s leading novelists, poets, and playwrights. Her works in English translation include They´re Cows, We’re Pigs; Leaving Tabasco; Cleopatra Dismounts; and Jump of the Manta Ray.
Allison Markin Powell is a literary translator and editor in New York City. She has worked in the publishing industry for more than a dozen years, and has translated works by Osamu Dazai, Hiromi Kawakami, and Motoyuki Shibata, among others.
Alex Zucker is currently translating the 1931 Czech classic Markéta Lazarová, by Vladislav Vančura, with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
April 24, 2012 7:00 pm
Center for Palestinian Studies, Columbia University
Knox Hall Room 509, Columbia University, 606 West 122 Street, New York, NY 10027
ArteEast presents Fractured Web: Gazan Writing Online, a public program at Columbia University’s Center for Palestine Studies, in which Palestinian writers will discuss the increasing presence of literature online, and will explore the way contemporary writing has been shaped by the Internet. Each writer works in multiple platforms so that their literary voices encompass poetry, prose, and journalism. In this discussion moderated by Khalid Hadeed (Cornell University) and featuring academic discussant Helga Tawil Soori (NYU); Somaya al Sousi and Fatena al Ghorra contextualize their work within the broader landscape of Palestinian literature online, while Adania Shibli (co-editor Narrating Gaza) discusses the way in which such platforms foster literary community and discourse.
Fractured Web: Gazan Writing Online is presented in collaboration with the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University
April 04, 2012 11:38 am
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
236 E. 3rd St., New York, NY 10009
ArteEast will present From Memoir to Reportage and Back Again: Gazan Writers Salon, to present contemporary writing from Gaza to New York’s literary audiences. Through readings of both poetry and prose, the writers will offer a rare glimpse into the diverse emerging and established voices that make up the dynamic literary scene in this city.
Like Darwish’s seminal poem Silence for Gaza, we see Palestinian writers of subsequent generations grapple with the personal and communal experiences of Gaza’s history of occupation, blockade and war.
From Memoir to Reportage and Back Again: Gazan Writers Salon is presented in collaboration with the Nuyorican Poets Café
Fatenah al Ghorrah, author of five books of poetry, The Sea is Still Behind Us (Gaza, 2002) and A Very Disturbing Woman Woman (Egypt, 2003); Adania Shibli, co-editor of the online forum “Narrating Gaza,” who will reflect on multi-genre writings from the forum that explore the repercussions of the Gaza War; Soumaya Al Sousi, poet has produced four poetry collections of her poetry, including The First Sip of the Sea’s Chest (1998), Doors (2003), Lonely Alone (2005), and Idea, Void, White in a joint collection with the poet Hala El Sharouf (published by Dar Al-Adab, Beirut, 2005).
March 20, 2012 7:00 pm
Moden Times Bookstore
Guggenheim Fellow, Guatemalan author, and Nebraskan, Eduardo Halfon will be reading from his forthcoming novel The Polish Boxer (Bellevue Literary Press) at Modern Times Bookstore in San Francisco. You can read Eduardo’s short stories “The Polish Boxer” and “Never an End to Hemingway” at Words without Borders: http://wordswithoutborders.org/contributor/eduardo-halfon. You can also find a bit more here: http://www.believermag.com/issues/201002/?read=roundtable and here: http://www.granta.com/New-Writing/Snapshot-Guatemala
This is our first event in San Francisco and we hope to see you there.
More on Eduardo:
Eduardo Halfon was born in Guatemala City. He moved to the United States with his family at the age of ten, went to school in South Florida, studied Industrial Engineering at North Carolina State University, and then returned to Guatemala to teach Literature during eight years at Universidad Francisco Marroquín. Named one of best young Latin American writers by the Hay Festival of Bogotá, he is also the recipient of the prestigious José María de Pereda Prize for the Short Novel. Although bilingual, Halfon chooses to write in Spanish and has published nine books of fiction. In 2011 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to work on continuing the story of The Polish Boxer, which is inspired by his own family history and which will be the first of his novels to be published in English, in 2012, by Bellevue Literary Press. Halfon now lives in Nebraska and travels frequently to Guatemala.
This event is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. An ASL interpreter will be made available upon request.
March 01, 2012 6:30 pm
DePaul University Loop Campus Bookstore
Words without Borders is pleased to present a reading by acclaimed Chinese poet Bei Dao, whose work has been translated into more than 30 languages, including 6 volumes in English. Bei Dao will be reading with his translator Eliot Weinberger.
Born in Beijing in 1949, Bei Dao is one of the most gifted writers in modern China. He became, in the 1970s, the poetic voice of his generation and has gained international acclaim over the last decades for his haunting interior poetic landscapes; his poetry is translated and published in some twenty-five languages around the world. In 1978, he co-founded the first unofficial literary journal since 1949, called Today (Jintian), which became a prominent forum for “Misty Poets,” a group derided by the Communist literary establishment for their “obscure” language and departure from socialist realism. Since 1987, Bei Dao has lived and taught in England, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, France, and the United States. His work has been translated into thirty languages, including six poetry volumes in English: The Rose of Time (2009), Unlock (2000), Landscape Over Zero (1996), Forms of Distance (1994), Old Snow (1992), The August Sleepwalker (1990), the collection of stories Waves (1990), the collections of essays Midnight’s Gate (2005), and Blue House (2000). He has won numerous awards, including the Jeanette Schocken Literary Prize from Bremerhaven, Germany (2005), the International Poetry Argana Award from the House of Poetry in Morocco (2002), and the Tucholsky Prize from Swedish PEN (1990). He is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives and teaches in Hong Kong.
Elliot Weinberger is an essayist, political commentator, translator, and editor. His books of avant-gardist literary essays include Karmic Traces, An Elemental Thing (named by the Village Voice as one of the “20 Best Books of the Year”) and, most recently, Oranges & Peanuts for Sale. His political articles are collected in What I Heard About Iraq – called by the Guardian the one antiwar “classic” of the Iraq war– and What Happened Here: Bush Chronicles. The author of a study of Chinese poetry translation, 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei, he is the translator of the poetry of Bei Dao, and the editor of The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry and a forthcoming series from Chinese University Press of Hong Kong. His other anthologies include World Beat: International Poetry Now from New Directions and American Poetry Since 1950: Innovators & Outsiders. Among his translations of Latin American poetry and prose are the Collected Poems 1957-1987 of Octavio Paz, Vicente Huidbro’s Altazor, and Jorge Luis Borges’ Selected Non-Fictions, which received the National Book Critics Circle award for criticism. He was born in New York City, where he still lives. Often presented as a “post-national” writer, his work has been translated into thirty languages, and appears frequently in the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, and periodicals and newspapers abroad.
This event was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. An ASL interpreter will be made available upon request.