Frances Richey is the author of two poetry collections: The Warrior (Viking Penguin 2008), The Burning Point (White Pine Press 2004), and the chapbook, Voices of the Guard, (Clackamas Community College 2010). She teaches an on-going poetry writing class at Himan Brown Senior Program at the 92nd Street Y in NYC, and she is the poetry editor for upstreet Literary Magazine. She was poetry editor for Bellevue Literary Review from 2004-2008. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from: The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine, Plume, Gulf Coast, Salmagundi, Salamander, Blackbird, River Styx, Woman’s Day, and her poems have been featured on NPR, PBS NewsHour and Verse Daily. Most recently she was a finalist for The National Poetry Series for her manuscript, “On The Way Here.” She lives in New York City.
Victoria Kelly graduated from Harvard University, Trinity College Dublin, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is the author of the poetry collection When the Men Go Off to War (Naval Institute Press), about her experience as a military spouse. Her poetry has appeared in Best American Poetry and has been made into an animated short film by Motion Poems. She is the author of the novel Mrs. Houdini (Atria Books / Simon & Schuster). She lives in northern Virginia, where she works in public relations, writes and is raising her two young daughters.
My interest in translating Persian poems began more than a decade ago, while spending six months in Tehran researching contemporary Iranian poetry. I met many poets and returned with hundreds of poetry books. The range of voices was amazing—their work ran the gamut from postmodern experimentations to traditional ghazals—yet very few of these poets were available or properly translated in English.
Reilly Cox | Silence of the Lambs: A Matter of Height
TRANSLATION IN PARIS By John Freeman
There are no editors in the café
called Les Éditeurs. There’s not
a single novelist in the Saint-
Germain store gilded by novels.
There are no beasts of the chase
paddocked in the park, but that’s what
the West Germanic word—parruk—meant.
It took the overrunning of London
by its immigrant population in 1680
to turn the word into the spot we’d
park humans, so they could stumble
around in bewilderment at how time
is translation, change is nature’s rime.
to lick the skin of the water / with a tongue I don’t speak
Marie-Andrée Gill’s Spawn is a surprising, colorful, virtuosic collection. Its brief, untitled poems span ’90s-kid nostalgia, the life cycle of fresh-water salmon, a coming of age, and the natural landscape of the Mashteuiatsh reserve, centered on Lake Piekuakami—a site of recreation and commerce, a reminder of conquest and ecological decline, a symbol of the ancient world, of sex, of the cycles of life. These poems are tightly interdependent, and Spawn could truly be read as a single, braided, book-length poem. But I want to focus here on a theme that became especially vital to my project of understanding and translating the book: recovery of language.
Marie-Andrée Gill: Poems in Translation from SPAWN
A poem can’t tell you what it’s like to be 83 and seven hours deep into a Christmas Eve shift at Walmart, cajoling beeps from objects like the secret name each of us will never be sweetly called, can’t show you her face and eyes like the night sky, or the white-haired man wearing reindeer horns, mumbling into his collar’s static-y radio-gadget; a poem can only mention her eyes, shocking blue, like desert pools, the red & white of her Santa hat, or take note of the little carts carrying each beached customer to the doom of their product; but a poem can place thiscurse upon the Waltons: that they be given her job manning the conveyer as it rattles its barren Torah through miles of product, or be given a list of every item they sell, and be made to wander like Israelites back and forth through their endless stores until they find them, until their heads and toes grow lighter, and Christmas music lifts and carries them & lifts and carries them, like each one is a burst suitcase of money blizzarding open.
December 2019 Poetry Feature: New Poems for the Holiday Season
As xenophobic arguments about merit-based immigration and “migrant caravans” intensify in the US, and as desperate boatloads of refugees cross the Mediterranean, poetry of (im)migration and border-crossing plays a crucial role in bearing witness and resistance.
Immigrants in Years 2070, 2081, and 2097 Must Furnish the Following Documents