Griffin Lessell

Women in Translation in The Common

In honor of women in translation month, we at The Common have compiled this feature, highlighting the translated pieces from our pages that were written or translated by women.


Image of Issue 21 cover.Issue 21 features a portfolio of contemporary Moroccan fiction, all translated by women translators Alice Guthrie, Nashwa Gowanlock, and Nariman Youssef. The portfolio includes work by Malika Moustadraf, Fatima Zohra Rghioui, and Latifa Baqa

 

Image of Issue 20 cover.

In Issue 20, readers will find a collection of writing from the Lusosphere—Portugal and its colonial and linguistic diaspora. This portfolio features a number of works in translation by Susana Moreira Marques, Cristina Carlos, Matilde Campilho, Teolinda Gersão, and Eliane Marques, among others. In addition, this issue includes work from women translators such as Carolyne Wright, Amanda Sarasien, and Marguerite Itamar Harrison. Along with writing from the Lusosphere, Issue 20 brings Clara Obligado‘s “Exile” (translated by Rachel Ballenger).

 

Image of the Issue 19 cover.

Our Issue 19 features a portfolio of writing from Sudan, including original fiction in translation by Lemya Shammat, Emad Blake, Bushra Elfadil, and Abdel-Ghani Karamalla, all of which were translated by Elisabeth Jaquette

 

 

 

Common Issue 17 cover with matches strewn on a pale green background

Our Issue 17 translation portfolio, “Arabic Stories from Syria” featured translations by Alice Guthrie and Maia Tabet, as well as original fiction in translation from Colette Bahna and Shahla al-Ujayli. In addition to the Arabic fiction portfolio, Issue 17 includes Alfonsina Storni‘s poem “You Want Me Daybreak” translated from the original Spanish by Nicholas Friedman, and Ferreira Gullar’s poem “Two Plus Two: Four,” translated from Portugese by Tal Goldfajn.

 

The Common Issue 16 cover with a melting yellow popsicle on a bright blue backgroundIssue 16 includes translations by Jennifer Acker, Nicole Cecilia Delgado, María José Giménez, Joan M. Pabón Maxán, Hannah Cook, and Aurora Lauzardo Ugarte, plus work in translation from Ana María Fuster Lavín, Mara Pastor, Carmen Graciela Díaz, and Vanessa Vilches Norat as part of the special portfolio “De Puerto Rico: Un año después de la tormenta” (One year after the storm). In addition, Issue 16 features Polina Barskova‘s poem “After the War, in the West,” translated from the Russian by Valzhyna Mort.

 

Issue 15 Cover

Issue 15’s special portfolio—Arabic Stories from Jordan—features translations by Elisabeth Jaquette, Thoraya El-Rayyes, Alice Guthrie, and Maia Tabet, as well as work in translation from Fairooz Tamimi, Jamila Amaireh, Majidah al-Outoum, and Haifa’ Abul-Nadi.

 

 

cover of The Common Issue 13, showing a garden trowel

Issue 13 features Maia Tabet’s translation of “Living in the Past” an excerpt from Sinan Antoon’s novel The Baghdad Eucharist, originally in Arabic.

 

 

 

Issue 11 cover

Issue 11’s Tajdeed portfolio includes Arabic fiction from Fatima Al-Mazrouei, Mona Merhi, Malika Moustadraf, Rasha Abbas, and  Basma Al-Nsour, as well as translations by Alice Guthrie, Elisabeth Jaquette, Maia Tabet, Thoraya El-Rayyes, Nashwa Gowanlock, Katharine Halls, Yasmeen Hanoosh, Nariman Youssef, Anna Ziajka, Fadwa Al Qasem, Ghada Mourad, and Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp.

 

 

The cover of The Common Issue 10, showing pen quills

Issue 10 features two poems by Sylvie Durbec, translated from the original French by Denis Hirson, as well as a portfolio of new Chinese poetry in translation that includes works from Tang Danhong and Zheng Min.

 

 

 

cover of The Common Issue 9, showing a crumpled piece of paper

Issue 09 includes Valzhyna Mort’s translation of Arseny Tarkovsky’s poem “I Went Sick as a Child,” originally in Russian.

 

 

 

The cover of The Common Issue 8, showing an ax

Issue 08 features poetry in translation by Sylvie Durbec, as well as translations of Polish poetry by Antonia Lloyd-Jones and Martha Cooley‘s translation from the Italian of Antioni Tabucchi’s short story, “Clouds.”

 

 

 

issue 7In Issue 07, Mariya Gusev, along with Jeff Parker and Alina Ryabovolova, translates Zakhar Prilepin’s short story, “from SANKYA” from the original Russian.

 

 

 

issue 6 cover

Issue 06 features translations from Arabic by Thoraya El-Rayyes, and from Russian by Catherine Ciepiela, and Anna Khasin, as well as Russian poetry in translation from Anna Glasova.

 

 

 

cover of Issue2, showing a pencil erase on a green background

Issue 02 features Jacquelyn Pope’s translation of the Dutch poet Hester Knibbe’sZijnstra Inc.” as well as Russian fiction in translation from Katia Kapovich and Spanish fiction translated by Teresa Villegas.

 

 

 

cover of Issue 1, showing a fork on a red background
Issue 01 includes poetry in translation from Yehudit Ben-Zvi Heller, and Marina Tsvetaeva as well as translations by Catherine Ciepiela.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women in Translation in The Common
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Claudia Masin: Spanish Poetry in Translation

Poems by CLAUDIA MASIN
Translated from the Spanish by ROBIN MYERS

Poems appear in both Spanish and English 

Translator’s Note

When I translate Claudia Masin, I feel like I’m ice skating. This is not a foolproof metaphor, I know. But what I mean, mostly, is that it’s exhilarating. Her long, deft, elegant lines; her line breaks, both graceful and unpredictable; her limber back-and-forth between the broadly rhetorical and the minutely descriptive: all of this, all of her language, structure, and sense of timing, forms a surface, a gleaming expanse that I feel free—I want to feel free—to glide across. Fast enough for a sense of wonder, the illusion of ease; not so fast that I don’t notice what’s around me. Or beneath me: the inherent spookiness of ice, the shadows under the surface, the plants and creatures stilled but still living where we can sense more than see them.

Claudia Masin: Spanish Poetry in Translation
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The Warehouse

By OSMAN AL-HOURI

Translated by JONATHAN WRIGHT

 

In the not-so-early morning, the beach enjoyed a calm troubled only by the swishing of the waves and the murmur of the sea against a rocky spit that extended into the water. At the foot of the white bakery, the waves broke in a monotonous sequence. The Nile Valley café, next to the bakery, shared in the morning calm—Abdul Farraj was snoozing lazily, and the waiter was having a temporary rest from his labors. Everything was calm. The sun crept slowly up the sky and poured light onto the surface of the sea and the roofs of the wooden houses, while a kite squawked on the minaret of the Askala mosque. On the western side of the horizon, the mountains lay in their blue calm, and between the sea and the mountains lay the city.

The Warehouse
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Silence of The Lambs: A Starling Is Born

By REILLY D. COX

CLARICE
All his victims are women…
His obsession is women, he lives to hunt women.
But not one woman is hunting him—except me.
I can walk into a woman’s room
and know three times as much about her as a man would.

 

A starling catches me in a dress
and pierces my chest two times,
deeply, and I cannot blame her.

Silence of The Lambs: A Starling Is Born
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Letter from American Airspace

By ELIZABETH A. I. POWELL

 

The end of romance was what the teenage girl
was telling you about on a bench in the Jardin
in San Miguel de Allende, giving you T.M.I.,
but you realized she might need a Father who is not in heaven.
She gasps: Tinder is even sleazier in Mexico, how could it be
nostalgic? You listened, like your poems do when you write
them down in the cafes of Kerouac’s time here. You are Angelico
Americano with Instagram—troubled children of your own back home.

Letter from American Airspace
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Ask a Local with Anika Fajardo: Minneapolis, Minnesota

With ANIKA FAJARDO

MN

Name: Anika Fajardo

Current city or town: Minneapolis, Minnesota

  1. The most striking physical features of this city/town are . . .

Minneapolis is known as the “city of lakes” because of the five large bodies of water nestled in among the city blocks of houses and small businesses. The lakes give the city a vacation feel during the summer. You can go to the beach, bike and walk, and eat ice cream.

Ask a Local with Anika Fajardo: Minneapolis, Minnesota
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“To Be Led from Behind” Chosen for 2020 Best Small Fictions Award Anthology

Mohammad Ibrahim Nawaya’s story “To Be Led from Behind,” translated from the Arabic by Robin Moger, has been chosen to appear in Sonder Press’s 2020 award anthology The Best Small Fictions. The anthology, now in its sixth year, presents one hundred and twenty-­six pristinely crafted pieces from an array of authors. It features micro fiction, flash fiction, haibun stories, and prose poetry.

The Bath Flash Fiction Award writes “[T]he beauty of an anthology such as this, pulling together the best of the form, is that you will always encounter something new, something different, something that pushes the boundaries of flash further than before. If this anthology proves nothing else, it is that small fiction in all its forms continues to go from strength to strength, as does the series itself.”

Congrats to Mohammad! Read “To Be Led from Behind” here, or check out other pieces from our Issue 17 portfolio of Arabic stories from Syria,.

Browse more of The Common’s prize-winning pieces here

“To Be Led from Behind” Chosen for 2020 Best Small Fictions Award Anthology
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Support The Common’s Favorite Indie Bookstores

We’re all eager to support local small businesses at this difficult time. Among the businesses that could most use our support are independent bookstores: that’s why we at The Common have put together this list of bookstores we’ve partnered with who are staying open—in some capacity—to serve your literary quarantine needs. The situation is changing rapidly, so make sure to check bookstores’ websites or social media for the most up-to-date info on how they are operating.

Support The Common’s Favorite Indie Bookstores
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