Skip to content

May 2017

A Woman’s Place: In Food, Power, and Writing

May 03, 2017 7:00 pm

Archestratus Books + Foods, 160 Huron Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Women writers, entrepreneurs, and artists are exploring the dramas of culinary history, tradition, and the future of food with new vigor and nuance. As part of the PEN World Voices Festival, Words Without Borders is delighted to present a panel that tackles the issue of women and food from multiple angles, bringing in the perspectives of writers, translators, and culinary and social entrepreneurs. Chitrita Banerji, Mariana Enríquez, Sonya Kharas, and Allison Markin Powell explore representation, power, documentation, migration, and more, in a discussion moderated by Rohan Kamicheril. This event celebrates the publication of the May issue of Words Without Borders, dedicated to international food writing.

Date: Wednesday, May 3, 2017, 7:00pm–8:30pm

Location: Archestratus Books + Foods, 160 Huron Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Free and open to the public. Please register in advance.


Chitrita Banerji is a food historian and novelist. She is the author of several books on the food and culture of Bengal and India. She has written for Granta, Gourmet, Gastronomica, the New York Times, and the Boston Globe, and received awards at the Oxford Symposium of Food and Cookery. Her latest work is the novel Mirror City, set in newly liberated Bangladesh.

Mariana Enríquez (Buenos Aires, 1973) is the author of two novels, two short story collections, a volume of travel writing, a biography, and a novella. She is an editor at Página 12, an Argentinean newspaper. Her fiction has appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, McSweeney’s, Electric Literature, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Her English language debut Things We Lost in the Fire is translated into twenty languages. [Photo credit: Nora Lezano]

Sonya Kharas is the Program Manager for the League of Kitchens, a unique cooking school in NYC where immigrants teach intimate cooking workshops in their homes, and participants encounter a new culture, cuisine, and neighborhood with every experience.



Allison Markin Powell is a translator of Japanese. Her translation of Hiromi Kawakami’s The Briefcase was nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Her other translations include works by Osamu Dazai, Fuminori Nakamura, and Kanako Nishi. In addition to translating, she works as an editor and publishing consultant, and currently serves as co-chair of PEN America’s Translation Committee. She maintains the database Japanese Literature in English. [Photo credit: Jonathan Armstrong]

Rohan Kamicheril is a writer, editor, and cook. His work has appeared in Words Without Borders, Asymptote, Gastronomica, and elsewhere. He is the editor of The Wall in My Head, a Words Without Borders anthology. He is the founding editor of Tiffin, a Web site dedicated to showcasing regional Indian food through interviews, recipes, and travel stories.

Co-presented with PEN America as part of the PEN World Voices Festival, with support from the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. 


Recently Past Events

Celebrate WWB at our 2016 Gala on November 1st!

November 01, 2016 6:30 pm

Three Sixty° Tribeca

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Three Sixty° Tribeca – 10 Desbrosses Street, New York, NY


Barbara Epler,
president and publisher of New Directions,
with the 2016 Ottaway Award
for the Promotion of International Literature

Presented by

Hilton Als


Roxana Saberi

Honorary Chair

Edith Grossman


Pictured: Roxana Saberi (Photo: Nadia Dara Diskavets); Barbara Epler; Edith Grossman (Photo: Miguel Rajmil).

Gala Co-Chairs

Jenny Staff Johnson
Margo and Anthony Viscusi

Gala Committee

Richard d'Albert and Catherine Greenman
Jonathan Galassi
Leila and Daniel Javitch
Anthony Knerr
Alison MacKeen
Maaza Mengiste
James H. Ottaway, Jr.
Cristóbal Pera
Alane Salierno Mason
Samantha Schnee
Jonathan Schorr and Toan Huynh

Gala Hosts

Gini Alhadeff
Paul Auster
Susan Bernofsky
Carmen Boullosa
Siddhartha Deb
Yasmine El Rashidi
Rivka Galchen
Siri Hustvedt
John Keene
Patrice Nganang
Idra Novey
Joseph O’Neill
Michael Palmer
Liesl Schillinger
Monique Truong
Eliot Weinberger
Natasha Wimmer

Globe Trot Hosts

Nicole Dennis-Benn
Katie Kitamura
Carlos Labbé
Imbolo Mbue
Anne Posten
Kirstin Valdez Quade

As of October 20, 2016

An Evening of Catalan Poetry with Maria Cabrera

April 19, 2017 6:30 pm

El Born, 651 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222

Image: Jordi Guillumet & Mònica Roselló, Ten Visions. Reading between Streets, photograph, 2004.

Join us for an evening of Catalan poetry and the US debut of an exciting literary talent. Poet Maria Cabrera’s original and unconventional poems from La ciutat cansada (Tired City) earned her the prestigious Carles Riba Poetry Prize in 2016. At this special New York appearance, Cabrera and translator Mary Ann Newman will read from their collaborations on Cabrera’s English-language debut in the April issue of Words Without Borders, followed by a discussion moderated by writer and translator Adrian Nathan West. 

Presented by Words Without Borders, the Farragut Fund for Catalan Culture in the U.S., the Catalan Institute of America, and the Institut Ramon Llull.

Date: Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 6:30pm–8:00pm

Location: El Born, 651 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11222


Maria Cabrera Callís is a Catalan poet born in Girona in 1983. She teaches Catalan Linguistics in the University of Barcelona and works as proofreader for many publishing houses. As a poet, she has published three books: Jonàs (Jonah), which in 2004 received the Amadeu Oller prize for young unpublished authors; La matinada clara (The Light Dawn, 2010), and, in 2017, La ciutat cansada (The Tired City), for which she has just won the Carles Riba Prize, considered the most prestigious Catalan poetry award.

Mary Ann Newman translates from Catalan and Spanish. She has published short stories and a novel by Quim Monzó, nonfiction by Xavier Rubert de Ventós, and poetry by Josep Carner. Her most recent translation is Private Life, a 1932 Catalan classic by Josep Maria de Sagarra (Archipelago Books). She was awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi in 1998. She is currently executive director of the Farragut Fund for Catalan Culture in the U.S., co-chair of the PEN Translation Committee, a member of the board of the Catalan Institute of America, a member of the North American Catalan Society, and a visiting scholar at the NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies.

Adrian Nathan West is a writer and translator whose work has appeared in numerous publications including McSweeney’s, 3:AM, and the Review of Contemporary Fiction. His book-length translations include Josef Winkler’s When the Time Comes and Alma Venus by the Catalan poet Pere Gimferrer. He lives between Spain and the United States.


This event is part of the Sant Jordi in New York: Dragons & Books & Roses Festival organized by The Farragut Fund for Catalan Culture in the U.S. and the Catalan Institute of America with the support of DiploCat as part of their #BooksAndRoses campaign, and with the additional support of the Institut Ramon Llull.


The World on Stage: Readings from Micro-Plays in Translation

December 13, 2016 7:00 pm

Martin E. Segal Theatre, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Image: Dimitri Tavadze, 1954. Rustaveli Theater; Fletcher, Massinger – The Spanish Curate.

Join us for a staged reading of micro-plays from Chile, Spain, and Russia in their English-language debut. The event celebrates the December issue of Words Without Borders, dedicated to new theater in translation. 

Hosted by fiction writer and playwright Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

Presented by Words Without Borders and the Center for the Humanities’ Translation Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

- - - from Chile - - -
Number Six, by José Ignacio Valenzuela
translated by Sofía García Deliz and Edil Ramos Pagán
edited by Aurora Lauzardo

- - - from Spain - - -
No Direction, by Miguel Alcantud & Santiago Molero
translated by Sarah Maitland

- - - from Russia - - -
Grandmother’s Little Hut, by Andrei Platonov
translated by Jesse Irwin

The reading will be followed by a talk-back with director Debra Caplan, Words Without Borders guest editor Sarah Maitland, playwright José Ignacio Valenzuela, Cheryl Smith of the Translation Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research, and participating actors. Please register here.

Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2016, 7:00pm

Location: Martin E. Segal Theatre, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016


Lindsay Roberts*, Yelena Shmulenson*, Stanley Bahorek*, and Richard Prioleau*


Saïd Sayrafiezadeh is the author of the story collection Brief Encounters With the Enemy and the critically acclaimed memoir When Skateboards Will Be Free. His short stories and personal essays have appeared in the New Yorker, the Paris Review, Granta, McSweeney’s, the New York Times, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and New American Stories, among other publications. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction and a fiction fellowship from the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He teaches memoir in the MFA program at Hunter College and creative writing at New York University, where he received a 2013 Outstanding Teaching Award.

Debra Caplan is assistant professor of theatre in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Baruch College, City University of New York. Her research focuses on Yiddish theater and drama, theatrical travel, artistic networks, and immigrant theater and performance. She was the founding executive director of Harvard’s Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research and is currently a member of the Mellon School’s Advisory Board. She is the co-founder of an interdisciplinary research collective, The Digital Yiddish Theatre Project, which is currently developing several projects that apply digital humanities tools to the study and preservation of Yiddish theater. Debra is also a stage director, dramaturg, and translator for the theater. From 2012–14, she was the dramaturg for Target Margin Theater, working with director David Herskovits to develop two seasons of Yiddish theater material.

Sarah Maitland is a senior lecturer in translation studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she leads the MA in Translation. She is the author of various articles on cultural translation, translation philosophy, and hermeneutics, and her current research focuses on the politics of recognition and its bearing on questions of ethics and justice in multicultural society. Her forthcoming book, entitled What is Cultural Translation?, examines these and other areas and will be published by Bloomsbury Academic. Sarah is also a professional theatre translator and has written for the Theatre Royal Bath, the Unicorn and New Diorama theatres in London, and the Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.

José Ignacio Valenzuela is a prominent and prolific Chilean writer who has been featured in film, literature, television, and theater. His work includes almost twenty books published in Latin America, including the bestsellers Trilogía del malamor, Malaluna, Mi abuela la loca, La mujer infinita, and El filo de tu piel. He was selected by as one of the 10 best Latin American writers under 40. The script for his film La sangre iluminada, co-written with Mexican director Iván Ávila, won the support of the Sundance Institute in 2001. Miente, written by Valenzuela, was selected by Puerto Rico as its representative film for the 80th Academy Awards (2008). Amores, a TV series he created and wrote, was nominated for an EMMY Award (Suncoast chapter). His telenovelas La casa de al lado and Santa Diabla, both produced by Telemundo US, have been seen around the world.

Cheryl C. Smith is associate professor of English at Baruch College, where she directs the Great Works of World Literature program. She teaches courses in great works, the arts in NY, advanced nonfiction writing, lyrics and literature, and American literature. She co-edited the book Making Teaching and Learning Matter: Transformative Spaces in Higher Education and also co-edits the Journal of Basic Writing. She defines and promotes creativity as a force in developing literacy and offers techniques for college faculty to engage student creativity through exercises in literary translation, writing in digital environments, and collaborative writing.

Cosponsored by Words Without Borders and the Center for the Humanities’ Translation Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

This event is presented as part of Translation, an interdisciplinary research group that investigates how translation might be understood as a process of transformation that deepens engagement with places, people, cultures, and languages. The group is supported by the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research. For more information or to join, email [email protected].

*Members of the Actors' Equity Association.

Gregory Rabassa (1922–2016), A Celebration

October 21, 2016 6:00 pm

The Center for the Humanities at the Graduate Center, CUNY

Gregory Rabassa, 1960. Photo by Bob Rabassa.

Few figures have marked the English-language literature of our time as deeply as did Gregory Rabassa. Translator of Julio Cortázar’s Hopscotch (1966), Clarice Lispector’s The Apple in the Dark (1967), Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1970), Mario Vargas Llosa’s Conversation in the Cathedral (1974), Luis Rafael Sánchez’s Macho Camacho’s Beat (1980), Luisa Valenzuela’s The Lizard's Tail (1983), José Lezama Lima’s Paradiso (2005), and more than fifty other works from Spanish and Portuguese—and himself the author of a number of books, including his prize-winning memoir If This Be Treason (2005)—Rabassa was a beloved professor and colleague at City University of New York, where he taught at the Graduate Center and Queens College for more than forty years.

Among the numerous honors Rabassa received were the National Book Award in Translation (1967), the Gregory Kolovakos Award for career achievement from PEN American Center (2001), the National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts (2006), and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir (2006). “We Spanish-language writers, especially of my generation, owe him enormous gratitude for the way he helped us plant roots in the English-speaking world,” wrote Mario Vargas Llosa earlier this year.  

Speakers include Edith Grossman, Peter Constantine, Earl Fitz, Ezra Fitz, Esther Allen, Ilan Stavans, Mauricio Font, Elizabeth Lowe, Harry Morales, Daniel Shapiro, Nora Glickman, Declan Spring, Ammiel Alcalay, Stanley Barkan, Catarina Cordeiro, David Draper Clark, and Rabassa’s daughters Clara Rabassa and Kate Rabassa Wallen.

In addition, the 14 recipients of the 2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund grants, who carry forward the tradition Rabassa did so much to consolidate, will be announced and honored.

A reception will follow. 

The Center for the Humanities
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue, Rooms 9204–9206
New York, NY 10016

This event is presented by the Center for the Humanities as part of Translation, an interdisciplinary research group that employs public humanities practices and explores narration as a guide for social change. The group is supported by the Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research. For more information or to join, email [email protected]

Co-sponsored by the Ph.D. Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages, the Bildner Center for Western Hemisphere Studies, the Translation Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research, CUNY Grad Center; the MFA in Creative Writing and Translation, the Department of Comparative Literature, and the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures, Queens College, CUNY;  PEN America; Words Without Borders; Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas (published by Routledge in association with The City College of New York, CUNY); The Bridge Literary Translation Series; the Instituto Cervantes of New York; and Julianne and Earl E. Fitz.

CANCELLED: New Writing from Singapore

October 12, 2016 7:00 pm

The Center for Fiction

UPDATE — October 5, 2016: Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled due to circumstances outside of our control. Thank you for your interest. Please check back for information about future events!

In October, Words Without Borders is dedicating an issue to new writing from Singapore, and to celebrate its launch we’re pleased to welcome Singapore Literature Prize-winning Tamil-language poet and writer Latha (The Goddess in the Living Room) and translator and editor Dan Feng (Singapore Shifting Boundaries). Join us to enjoy readings of poetry and writing in both Tamil and English, followed by a discussion about the contemporary scene in one of literature’s most exciting regions. 

The Center for Fiction
17 E. 47th Street (between Fifth and Madison)
New York, NY 10017


Latha (K. Kanagalatha) is the author of two collections of poetry in Tamil: Theeveli (Firespace) (2003), and Paampuk Kaattil Oru Thaazhai (A Screwpin in Snakeforest) (2004). Her 2007 short story collection Nan Kolai Seyium Penkkal (The Women I Murder) won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2008. It was published as The Goddess in the Living Room by Epigram Books in 2014. Her poems and short stories have been published in Words, Home and Nation, a multilingual anthology published by The Centre for the Arts, National University of Singapore (1995); Rhythms: A Singaporean Millennial Anthology of Poetry (2000); Fifty on 50 and Tumasik (2009); and various Tamil literary journals in India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and France. Her works have been translated into English, French and German. Latha is currently the Sunday editor of Tamil Murasu, Singapore’s Tamil daily newspaper.

Dan Feng spent a decade as director of globally renowned Southeast Asian books specialist Select Books and is active in the regional language, translation and publishing sectors. He chairs the annual Singapore International Translation Symposium and has been involved in the translation programs at NTU, NUS and SIM University as course coordinator, lecturer, adjunct faculty and academic advisory board member. He sits on several government committees, including the National Translation Committee, the NAC Arts Advisory Panel and the MCI Television and Radio Advisory Committee Panel of Experts. He has presented widely on issues relating to language and culture, including major conferences in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Penang. Books that he has edited or co-edited include Singapore Shifting Boundaries (2011), Indonesia Rising: Islam, Democracy and the Rise of Indonesia as a Major Power (2009) and The Chinese in Indonesia (2008). He recently oversaw the production of the largest Singapore Chinese-English bilingual dictionary and a history of Malay poetry in Singapore.

This event is presented in partnership with The Center for Fiction and co-sponsored by the Singapore Literature Festival and the National Arts Council of Singapore.


International Translation Day 2016

September 30, 2016 9:00 am

The British Library, London NW1 2DB

Presented by Free Word, English PEN, and the British Library

International Translation Day is the annual event for the translation community. It is an opportunity for translators, students, publishers, booksellers, librarians, bloggers, and reviewers to gather and network, debate significant issues and developments within the sector, and to discuss challenges and celebrate success.

This year’s vibrant day-long program includes seminars on women writers in translation, multilingualism, the state of translation in higher education, alternative routes to publication, and translating for the stage. Plus a detailed look at the entire chain from author to reader: what works and what doesn’t when it comes to publishing translated literature? View the full schedule of events.

Last year tickets sold out quickly, so don’t miss out! Purchase tickets here.

British Sign Language (BSL) is available on request throughout the day (except lunchtime drop-in sessions). If you require BSL, please tick the required box when we contact you about seminar choices.

International Translation Day is a program of the Free Word Centre in partnership with the British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT)Emerging Translators Network (ETN)Literature Across Frontiers (LAF)Translators Association (TA)Wales Literature Exchange, Words Without Borders, and Writers’ Centre Norwich.

With support from The Booker Prize FoundationALCS, European CommissionJan Michalski Foundation, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch).

There Is No Map: New Italian Voices

September 20, 2016 7:00 pm

One Hudson Square, 75 Varick Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10013

An evening of contemporary writing from Italy

Image: Darrin Zammit Lupi, from “Isle Landers,” 2014, photograph. @ Darrin Zammit Lupi. 

Join translators Sole Anatrone, Martha Cooley, and Antonio Romani and guest editor Alta L. Price for a bilingual reading from the September issue of Words without Borders. The participants will read new translations of work by Giampiero Neri and Laila Wadia and discuss how the forces of migration, immigration, emigration, and flight are affecting the Italian peninsula and its (often multilingual) writers. 

The event is free and open to the public. Seating is first-come, first-served.

Adelphi University New York Campus
One Hudson Square, 75 Varick Street, 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10013


Sole Anatrone is a visiting professor of Italian studies at Wesleyan University. She holds a doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley and her research focuses on gender, race, immigration, and queer studies in contemporary Italian literature and cinema. She translated nonfiction by Laila Wadia for WWB’s September issue.



Martha Cooley is a professor of English at Adelphi University and the author of two novels: The Archivist, a national bestseller published in eleven foreign markets, and Thirty-Three Swoons, also published in Italy. Her short fiction, essays, and co-translations have appeared in numerous literary magazines. Cooley’s co-translation of Antonio Tabucchi’s Time Ages in a Hurry appeared in 2015. Her memoir-in-essays, dealing with a year spent in Italy, is forthcoming in 2017. With Antonio Romani, she co-translated poetry by Giampiero Neri for WWB’s September issue.

Antonio Romani’s translations of poems by Italian poet Giampiero Neri have been published in AGNI, Atlanta Review, PEN America, A Public Space, and the September issue of WWB. His co-translation of Antonio Tabucchi’s Time Ages in a Hurry appeared in 2015. He taught Italian literature and history in two high schools in Cremona and was the owner and manager of two bookstores there. He now lives in Queens, New York.


Alta L. Price runs a publishing consultancy specialized in literature and nonfiction texts on art, architecture, design, and culture. She translates from Italian and German into English and was awarded the 2013 Gutekunst Translation Prize. Her recent books include Corrado Augias’s The Secrets of Italy (Rizzoli Ex Libris, 2014) and Jürgen Holstein’s The Book Cover in the Weimar Republic (Taschen, 2015), and her translation of Dana Grigorcea’s An Instinctive Feeling of Innocence is forthcoming. She is vice president of the New York Circle of Translators. She is the guest editor of WWB’s September issue.

This event is co-presented with Adelphi University’s MFA program and co-sponsored by the Bridge Series.

Back to the Future: Cuban Sci-fi Now

May 25, 2016 7:00 pm

The Bronx Museum of the Arts

Douglas Pérez, “Pictopía III: Still I Have A Dream,” 2009, Oil on canvas 63 x 93 ¾ in. 
Courtesy of the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection.

Discover the world of Cuban science fiction at a bilingual reading with Erick J. Mota and Yoss, whose far-out work is featured in the May issue of Words without Borders edited by Esther Allen and Hillary Gulley. Deji Bryce Olukotun (Nigerians in Space) will moderate a discussion with Mota, Yoss, and Cuban science fiction scholar Yasmín S. Portales-Machado about this exciting literary frontier. The event is free and open to the public, and a reception will follow. Please register here.

Date: Wednesday, May 25, 7:00pm-9:00pm

Location: The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456


Deji Bryce Olukotun is the author of Nigerians in Space, a thriller about brain drain from Africa. His short story “We Are the Olfanauts” was published in the fiction collection Watchlist: 32 Short Stories by Persons of Interest in 2015 (O/R Books). His work has been featured in Electric Literature, Quartz, Guernica, and ESPN. Deji is an attorney with a background in human rights and technology who works at the digital rights organization Access Now. Before that, he defended writers around the world at PEN American Center with support from the Ford Foundation. A sequel to Nigerians in Space will be published in 2017 by Unnamed Press. 

Erick J. Mota completed a BA in physics at the University of Havana and a course on creative writing at the Onelio Jorge Cardoso Center. His work includes the short story collection Algunos recuerdos que valen la pena (2010), the novel Habana Anderguater (Atom Press, 2010), and the novella Bajo Presión, which won the 2007 Edad de Oro award. He was a finalist of the 2013 Ignotus Prize, and a recipient of the Calendario award and the TauZero award. His short stories have been published in the international anthologies 2099 and 2099-b (Ediciones Irreverentes, 2012), Malditos bastardos (Ediciones La Palma, 2014), Cuba in Splinters (O/R Books, 2014), and Terra Nova: The Anthology of Contemporary Science Fiction (Sportula, 2014). His story “For a few extra watts” was selected by the Spanish Association of Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror for inclusion in Fabricantes de sueños (2014), an anthology of the best Spanish-language science fiction. He created Disparo en Red, an electronic science fiction and fantasy magazine that he edited from 2004 until 2008.

Yasmín S. Portales-Machado is a science fiction scholar, gay rights activist, and a freelance journalist for and She is the coordinator in Cuba of the “Anticapitalism and Emergent Sociability” Work Group of the Latin American Council for the Social Sciences and founder of the Cuban Digital Humanities Network. Her blog is:



Yoss is an essayist, critic, and writer of realism, science fiction, and heroic fantasy. He is considered to be the most significant contemporary fantasy writer from Cuba. His work has been awarded numerous prizes, both in Cuba and abroad, and has appeared in various national and international anthologies. To date, he has published over thirty books in Cuba and around the world, and his work has been translated into English, French, Italian, Polish, and Japanese. Yoss holds a degree in biology from the University of Havana. He has been a participant in the Oscar Hurtado, Julio Verne, and El Negro Hueco fantasy and science fiction workshops, and he founded the Espiral and Espacio Abierto workshops. An active teacher, he has led seminars and workshops in Chile, the UK, Italy, Spain, and Andorra; he is also a frequent participant in international science fiction and fantasy conferences. Between 2005 and 2008 he was the Spanish editor in chief of The H, a bilingual magazine about the city of Havana. Between 2012 and 2013 he was the author of the blog La llaga (a place to put your finger), which can be found at Since 2007, he has been the singer for the heavy metal band TENAZ.

This event is co-sponsored by The Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Bridge Series, Restless Books, and the Cuban Cultural Center of New York.


(In)verse: Poets Translate Each Other

April 27, 2016 7:00 pm

Poets House, 10 River Terrace, New York, NY 10282

To celebrate National Poetry Month, Words Without Borders and Poets House present an evening with three poet-translators, featured in the April issue of WWB. Flávia Rocha and Idra Novey will read in Portuguese and English, and Melcion Mateu will read in Catalan. The reading will be followed by a discussion led by Catalan and Spanish translator Mary Ann Newman. The event is free and open to the public (please register here).

A co-presentation of Poets House and Words Without Borders.

Location: Kray Hall, 10 River Terrace, New York, NY 10282


Idra Novey is the author of the novel Ways to Disappear, a New York Times Editors' Choice. Her fiction and poetry have been translated into eight languages and she's written for The Paris Review, the New York Times, and NPR's All Things Considered. Her most recent translation is Clarice Lispector's novel The Passion According to G.H.


Flávia Rocha is a Brazilian poet, editor, and journalist. She is the author of three books of poetry: A Casa Azul ao Meio-dia (2005), Quartos Habitáveis (2011), and Um País (2015), all published in Brazil. She holds an MFA in Writing from Columbia University, and for thirteen years was an editor and then the editor-in-chief for Rattapallax, a literary magazine featuring contemporary American and international poetry. She cowrote the screenplay of Birds of Neptune, an independent feature film by Steven Richter.

Melcion Mateu is the author of four books of poetry, among them Vida evident, which won the 1998 Octavio Paz Prize, and Illes lligades, which was awarded the 2014 Jocs Florals de Barcelona Prize. Mateu has translated into Catalan works by John Ashbery, Siri Hustvedt, and Michael Ondaatje, among others. He holds an MA in comparative literature from Cornell University and a PhD in Spanish and Portuguese from New York University. He is currently a professor at the Univesidade Federal do Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil.

Mary Ann Newman translates from Catalan and Spanish. She has published short stories and a novel by Quim Monzó, non-fiction by Xavier Rubert de Ventós, and poetry by Josep Carner. Her most recent translation is Private Life (Archipelago Books), a 1932 Catalan classic by Josep Maria de Sagarra. In 1998 she was awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi, and she is currently the Executive Director of the Farragut Fund for Catalan Culture in the U.S.


Read the feature, with work by the featured poet-translators and Rowan Ricardo Phillips, in our April issue.

Translating Morocco: Fouad Laroui, Emma Ramadan, and Adam Shatz

March 21, 2016 6:30 pm

Center for the Humanities, CUNY Graduate Center

To celebrate the Morocco issue of Words without Borders, Prix Goncourt-winner Fouad Laroui and translator Emma Ramadan will read from their work and discuss the political and social context for Moroccan literature today—both in and outside the country. The conversation will be moderated by Adam Shatz, contributing editor at the London Review of Books.

A co-presentation of Words Without Borders, the CUNY Center for the Humanities, and the Translation Mellon Seminar for Public Engagement and Collaborative Research.

Location: The Skylight Room (9100), 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016

The Conspiracists: December Issue Launch with Naivo and Translator Allison M. Charette at Albertine

December 14, 2015 7:00 pm

Albertine: 972 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10075

Join December issue contributors Naivo and Allison M. Charette as they read from Charette’s translation of Naivo’s work and discuss the translation of Beyond the Rice Fields, the first novel from Madagascar ever translated into English, followed by a discussion of Naivo’s work moderated by WWB Editor Eric M. B. Becker. 

A reception following the event will feature music from the acclaimed Malagasy musician Razia Said.

Event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP here.


Allison M. Charette translates literature from French into English. She received a 2015 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant for Naivo’s Beyond the Rice Fields, the first novel from Madagascar to be translated into English. She founded the Emerging Literary Translators’ Network in America (, a networking and support group for early-career translators. Allison has published two book-length translations, in addition to short translated fiction that has appeared in The Other Stories, InTranslation, the SAND Journal, and others. Find her online at

Naivoharisoa Patrick Ramamonjisoa, who goes by the pen name Naivo, has worked as a journalist in his home country of Madagascar and as a professor in Paris, and now works for the press in Canada. “Beyond the Rice Fields” is his first novel, published in March 2012 from Éditions Sépia. He is also the author of numerous (as yet untranslated) short stories, including “Dahalo,” which received the RFI/ACCT prize in 1996, and “Iarivomandroso,” which was adapted for a theatrical production in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Naivo is working on his second novel, and has just released a short story collection entitled “Madagascar entre poivre et vanille.”

Eric M. B. Becker is editor of Words without Borders. He is also an award-winning journalist and literary translator. In 2014, he earned a PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant for his translation of a short story collection by Neustadt Prize for International Literature winner Mia Couto, forthcoming from Biblioasis. Also in 2014, he was resident writer at the Louis Armstrong House. Other translations include work by Brazilian writers Edival Lourenço, Paulo Scott, Eric Nepomuceno, and Carlos Drummond de Andrade and has been awarded a 2016 Fulbright fellowship to translate Brazilian literature. You can find him online at

After years of living abroad, singer and song-writer Razia Said returned to Madagascar in 2007 to discover her country’s landscape ravaged by illegal logging, slash-and-burn agriculture and the impact of climate change. That trip inspired the production of her first album, the critically-acclaimed Zebu Nation, which was released by Cumbancha Discovery in 2010. The songs on her new album, Akory, address Razia’s life experiences as well as Madagascar’s struggles to cope with an ever-deteriorating political situation, the destruction of the country’s bio-diverse forests and the daily challenges faced by its inhabitants.

Translation Lab: Authors and Translators Discuss Their Collaborations

November 12, 2015 6:30 pm

Center for the Humanities, CUNY Graduate Center
Four pairs of authors and translators from the Fall 2015 Ledig House Translation Lab—working in languages ranging from Spanish and Syrian to Bulgarian and Basque—come together to discuss their latest work together, providing insight into the complex operations involved in translating literature. Featuring Christina MacSweeney, Daniela Saldana Paris, Alice Guthrie, Rasha Abbas, Izidora Angel, Hristo Karatoyanov, Amaia Gabantxo, and Miren Agur Meabe. A co-presentation of the Center for the Humanities, Writers Omi at Ledig House, and Words without Borders.
Location: CUNY Graduate Center, Room C204, 365 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016

Save the Date for the Words without Borders Gala!

November 02, 2015 6:30 pm

Tribeca Three Sixty

Now’s your chance to  reserve your place at dinner with celebrated poet and MacArthur fellow Edward Hirsch, Pulitzer Prize for Poetry winner Gregory Pardlo, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize winner Monique Truong, and others. We’ll be honoring distinguished editor and publisher Sara Bershtel with the 2015 Ottaway Award for International Literature—don’t miss it! Buy tickets here

For information on how to be a 2015 Words without Borders Gala Sponsor, contact us at [email protected].

Bulgarian Fiction Ny(ghts) with Georgi Gospodinov

September 23, 2015 7:00 pm

Words without Borders editor Eric M. B. Becker and Milena Deleva (Elizabeth Kostova Foundation) in conversation with the acclaimed Bulgarian author Georgi Gospodinov on his latest novel, The Physics of Sorrow, and other recent fiction and nonfiction works. In truly international fashion, the event will be conducted in both Bulgarian and English. more info>>>

Net Lit Unlimited

September 21, 2015 6:30 pm

Join WWB Editor Eric M. B. Becker, Geoff Mak from The Offing, and translator and love german books blogger Katy Derbyshire, just back from Berlin, for a discussion on the limits and un-limits of sharing literature on the net. more info>>>

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.