Grasshoppers, Minor Greek Figures, and Rage in “Mythology”

My deep gratitude to the editors for publishing my poem “Mythology” in the latest issue of Ninth Letter. Rarely have I had a poem write itself. But this one came out in one sentence, one breath, ending with one deftly wielded stick against men who try to take what they want. It’s for anyone enraged by all the rape stories, from ancient times to the present day. Anyone sick and tired of being groped on the bus or followed down the street. Anyone done with being paid less than male counterparts or told that your experiences are minor exceptions and not worth being told. Tell them!

You can read the poem here.

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Poem of the Week in TMR!

TMRI started my poem “Then a While Dedication” (featured at The Missouri Review) while sitting on a bench in a field at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Redwing, Minnesota. The Center—an old estate built by the inventor of puffed rice—was originally in the middle of nowhere. But now a four-lane highway runs right by its gates, so the sound of passing trucks and cars reaches every last corner on the property. The sound brought to mind the history of our interstate system, which was built as a defense route, and how it dispossessed thousands of people of their land, destroying neighborhoods and communities. It also brought to mind the ocean waves and my two young daughters, running along the beach. I was missing them. The poem comes from a series set in the California chaparral region, a landscape affected by climate change and the ecological disaster of drought—only in this case the drought is also internal, reflecting the silences that society maintains around the experiences of women. The poem owes some of its structure of thought to Ursula K. LeGuin’s “Initiation Song from the Finder’s Lodge,” and the title is a misquoting of Shakespeare’s “A cause more promising / Than a wild dedication of yourselves / To unpath’d waters, undream’d shores, most certain / To miseries enough.”

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“Constellation” in Meridian

Many thanks to the editors of Meridian for providing safe passage into the universe for my poem “Constellation,” in which I finally figure out some words for what bugs me about the Pleiades, why I distrust global positioning systems, and a haunting memory from adolescence.

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“Star Vehicle: On Translating Poetry”

“There are those who say that translators will save the world,” Polish poet Tomasz Różycki writes in his new essay, “Star Vehicle: On Translating Poetry,” out today at the LA Review of Books. I tend to agree with him! Many thanks to the editors for publishing my translation of this star-gazing essay.

LARB

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Krystyna Dąbrowska in the Yale Review

Many thanks to the editors of the Yale Review for publishing my translation of Krystyna Dąbrowska’s poem “Yesterday I Saw a Dog at the Tideline.” It’s one of my favorite poems of Krystyna’s in one of my favorite journals!

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“Waiting on Forty-Five (A Ghazal)” in The Common

Common Issue 19 cover with white feather on yellow backgroundI know, I know! A girl’s not supposed to say her age, or walk out on a job, or write a ghazal in one-line stanzas. But here you go: my poem “Waiting on Forty-Five (A Ghazal)” in the beautiful, Spring issue of The Common.

And, while you’re there, check out the amazing Arabic translation portfolio of stories from Sudan, the beautiful sonnet “Nocturne” by Ricardo Pau-Llosa, and so much more. It’s a great issue, all available for free online, for now!

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Krystyna Dąbrowska in The Literary Review

judith instaThe Literary Review has adapted to these strange times by slowly rolling out their July issue, “Contents May Shift,” online. Much gratitude to editor Minna Proctor for including my translation of Krystyna Dąbrowska’s fabulously biting poem “Judith.”

 

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Translations, translations, translations!

I’m very happy to share a number of new translations that have appeared recently, all from Tomasz Różycki’s Litery (which I am working my way through translating in its entirety–all 99 poems!). The Center for the Art of Translation presented an online exclusive of three poems as part of the launch of Two Lines 31: HauntingsThe fabulous new journal Cagibi featured the poem “Wind” in it’s July issue. And the October issue of Asymptote includes four poems, along with Tomasz reading the poems in the original Polish. Thanks to the editors of each of these journals for sharing this work!

Two LinesCagibiAsymptote Oct.

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Voicing a Voice: A Translation and an Essay at Kenyon Review

Check out the latest issue of Kenyon Review Online for my essay in questions, “Voicing a Voice,” which explores ideas of power, originality, performance, and what we mean when we talk about the translator’s voice in the translated text. Eternal gratitude and admiration to Translations Editor Katherine Hedeen for featuring it, along with my translation of Tomasz Różycki’s poem “Third Planet.”

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A Conversation with Tomasz Różycki

Screenshot 2019-06-26 10.56.45I’ve been translating the poetry of Polish author Tomasz Różycki for over a decade now. We first met in 2004—an auspicious year for both of us. I was on a creative writing Fulbright Fellowship in Kraków, an experience that would solidify my interest in Polish literature and send me headlong into the language. That same year, Tomasz’s fifth and most ambitious book in subject matter and form, Twelve Stations, became a true literary phenomenon, winning the prestigious Kościelski Award and quickly finding its way onto the stage and into the classroom. I was just as smitten as so many Polish readers by his unique voice. But even more so I was taken by the musicality of his other lyric poetry, with its seamless mix of deadpan humor, historical awareness, and existential longing. Since then, I’ve translated a book of selected poetry entitled The Forgotten Keys as well as his collection Colonies; I’m currently translating his most recent volume, Litery, selections of which have appeared or are forthcoming in Guernica, Kenyon Review, The High Window, Michigan Quarterly Review, Two Lines, Epiphany, and elsewhere.

In the midst of our current correspondence over minutiae of the translations, we wove in a conversation about life, writing, and the state of poetry in the world. Thanks to the wonderful editors at Music & Literature for publishing it.

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