Shelley Frisch & Catherine Porter, October 29

On Translating Nonfiction:
Shelley Frisch & Catherine Porter

Frisch and Porter final

Thursday, October 29, 6:30PM

McNally Jackson Books,
2 Prince Street (btwn Lafayette and Mulberry)

Shelley Frisch taught at Columbia University while serving as Executive Editor of The Germanic Review, then chaired the Haverford/Bryn Mawr Bi-College German Department before turning to translation full-time in the 1990s. She has published widely on German literature, film, cabaret, and the political and linguistic dimensions of exile, as well as on translation; her book on the origin of language theories, The Lure of the Linguistic, was published in 2004. Her many translations from the German include biographies of Nietzsche, Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, and Kafka, for which she was awarded a Modern Language Association Translation Prize and Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize.  Her translation of Karin Wieland’s Dietrich & Riefenstahl: Hollywood, Berlin, and a Century in Two Lives will be published by Liveright/Norton this fall, and she is completing her translation of the final volume of Reiner Stach’s Kafka biography trilogy, Kafka: The Early Years, to be published by Princeton University Press. The previous volumes, Kafka: The Decisive Years and Kafka: The Years of Insight, have garnered numerous awards, and were chosen by the TLS and The Guardian as a Best Book of the Year; The Years of Insight was also longlisted for the 2014 PEN Translation Award. Shelley Frisch co-directs international translation workshops in Switzerland, Germany, and Ireland with Karen Noelle, and lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

Catherine Porter received her doctorate in French literature from Yale University in 1972. She is a Visiting Professor at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell University, and Professor of French Emerita at the State University of New York College at Cortland, where she taught French at all levels and chaired the Department of International Communications and Culture for a total of ten years. She served as president of the Modern Language Association in 2009, introducing translation as the theme of the annual convention that year. She has authored a number of essays on foreign language pedagogy as well as on translation, and she served as co-editor, with Sandra Bermann, of Wiley-Blackwell‘s Companion to Translation Studies, published in 2014. A freelance translator in the humanities and the social sciences since the mid-1970s, Porter has published numerous essays and more than three dozen books in translation from the French, from Oswald Ducrot and Tzvetan Todorov’s Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Sciences of Language (Johns Hopkins, 1979) to Antoinette Fouque’s There Are 2 Sexes (Columbia, 2015). She is currently working, with Cornell colleague Susan Tarrow, on a collection of essays by the late French Hellenist Jean Bollack, The Art of Reading, from Homer to Paul Celan, for the Center for Hellenic Studies, and on Élisabeth Roudinesco’s acclaimed new biography, Freud in His Time and Ours, for Harvard University Press.

This is a co-presentation by the Bridge and the PEN Translation Committee, PEN American Center.



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Pierre Joris & André Naffis-Sahely, April 15

On North African literature:
Pierre Joris & André Naffis-Sahely

Pierre and Andre

“From where do the vintage bottles come? Certainly not from heaven, but from a long practice by the ONCV (Office National de Commercialisation des Produits Vitivinicoles), but, well, you’re nothing but an idealistic moujik, candid manure; a hick lush of a versifier!”
–from Sultan Galiev, Habib Tengour, trans. Pierre Joris

Wednesday, April 15, 7PM

@ McNally Jackson Books,
52 Prince Street (btwn Lafayette & Mulberry)

Pierre Joris is a poet, translator, essayist & anthologist who has published some 50 books, most recently, Barzakh: Poems 2000–2012, Breathturn into Timestead: The Collected Later Poetry of Paul Celan (currently on the longlist for the 2015 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation), A Voice full of Cities: The Collected Essays of Robert Kelly (co-edited with Peter Cockelbergh) and The University of California Book of North African Literature (volume 4 in the Poems for the Millennium series, coedited with Habib Tengour). With Jerome Rothenberg, he edited volumes 1 & 2, The University of California Book of Modern & Postmodern Poetry, in the same series. Other recent books include Bernat Manciet: Ode to James Dean (translated by Joris & Nicole Peyrafitte), Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj and Exile is My Trade: A Habib Tengour Reader. Pierre Joris: Cartographies of the In-between, essays on Joris’ work edited by Peter Cockelbergh, came out in 2012. His The Meridian: Final Version—Drafts—Materials by Paul Celan was awarded the 2013 MLA Aldo & Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Scholarly Study of Literature). He lives & works in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, with his wife, performance artist Nicole Peyrafitte.

André Naffis-Sahely’s poetry was most recently featured in The Best British Poetry 2014 and the Oxford Poets Anthology 2013. His translations from the French and the Italian include Balzac’s The Physiology of the Employee, Laurent Seksik’s The Last Days, and The Confines of the Shadow by Alessandro Spina. He has also translated numerous works by North African authors, including The Barbary Figs and the forthcoming The Funerals by Rashid Boudjedra, and The Bottom of the Jar by Abdellatif Laâbi. His translation of Laâbi’s Selected Poems has just received a PEN Translates grant from English PEN. He reviews for The NationThe Times Literary Supplement, and The Chimurenga Chronic.

This is a co-presentation by the Bridge and the PEN Translation Committee, PEN American Center.

Bridge PEN joint logo

Photo of André Naffis-Sahely © The MacDowell Colony

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On Sakutarō Hagiwara: Hiroaki Sato, Eliot Weinberger, and Forrest Gander, March 20

On Sakutarō Hagiwara: Hiroaki Sato, Eliot Weinberger, and Forrest Gander

Sakutaro Hagiwara 2














I was originally a crow of nihility
on that high roof of winter solstice I’ll open my mouth
and roar like a weathervane.
–“A Crow of Nihility”


Friday, March 20, 7PM

@ McNally Jackson Books,
52 Prince Street (btwn Lafayette & Mulberry)

Hiroaki Sato is the author of Snow in a Silver Bowl: A Quest for the World of Yugen and One Hundred Frogs: From Renga to Haiku to English, among other books. He is a contributor to a greatly expanded adaptation of Naoki Inose’s Persona: A Biography of Yukio Mishima, and the co-editor with Burton Watson of the landmark volume From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry, which won the PEN American Center Translation Prize. Sato has translated three dozen books of Japanese literature and poetry, most recently, Cat Town by Sakutarō Hagiwara in the Calligrams series (New York Review Books Classics); The Iceland (a New Directions Poetry Pamphlet), also by Hagiwara;  and, with Nancy Sato, So Happy to See Cherry Blossoms: Haiku from the Year of the Great Earthquake and Tsunami. He has also translated various American poets into Japanese, among them John Ashbery, Charles Reznikoff, and Jerome Rothenberg. Since 2000 Sato has written a regular column for The Japan Times.

Eliot Weinberger is an essayist, political commentator, translator, and editor. His books of avant-gardist literary essays include Karmic TracesAn Elemental Thing, 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 the Calligrams series published by NYRB Classics. 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.

Forrest Gander is a poet, translator from Spanish, essayist and novelist. He was born in the Mojave Desert and grew up, for the most part, in Virginia. Trenchant periods of his life were spent in San Francisco, Dolores Hidalgo (Mexico), and Eureka Springs, Arkansas. With degrees in both geology and English literature, Gander is the author of numerous books of poetry, translation, fiction, and essays. He’s the A.K. Seaver Professor of Literary Arts and Comparative Literature at Brown University. A U.S. Artists Rockefeller fellow, Gander has been recipient of grants from the NEA, the Guggenheim, Howard, Witter Bynner and Whiting foundations. His 2011 collection Core Samples from the World was an NBCC and Pulitzer Prize finalist for poetry. His novel The Trace was published by New Directions in November 2014.

Sakutarō Hagiwara (1886–1942) is a seminal figure in Japanese literature. He broke traditional poetic forms in favor of a free-verse style mixing literary and everyday diction with intense imagery, deep philosophy, and verbal distortions.


This is a co-presentation by the Bridge, New Directions, NYRB Classics, and the PEN Translation Committee, PEN American Center. 


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On Patrick Modiano: Mark Polizzotti, David Godine, & Sam Sacks, February 17, 7PM

On Patrick Modiano:

Mark Polizzotti, David Godine, Sam Sacks

Polizzotti Godine Sacks

 discuss translating the recent Nobel laureate’s work, independent publishing, and how to review translations

Tuesday, February 17, 7PM

972 Fifth Avenue (btwn 78 & 79th St)

livestreaming here!


Mark Polizzotti is the author of eight books, including the collaborative novel S. (1991), Lautréamont Nomad (1994), Revolution of the Mind: The Life of André Breton (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1995; revised ed., 2009), Luis Buñuel’s Los Olvidados (British Film Institute, 2006), and Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited (Bloomsbury, 2006). His essays and reviews have appeared in ARTnews, Bookforum, The Nation, The New Republic, Parnassus, Partisan Review, The Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. The translator of over forty books from the French, including works by Gustave Flaubert, Patrick Modiano, Marguerite Duras, André Breton, Raymond Roussel, and Jean Echenoz, he directs the publications program at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. His translation of three novellas by Modiano was published under the title Suspended Sentences by the Margellos World Republic of Letters series, Yale University Press, in November 2014.

David R. Godine is the publisher of the eponymously named press. Founded in 1970, the press began by bringing out fine letterpress editions, and then moved on to more general trade publishing: its list now consists of fiction, biography, photography, books on the history of printing and the graphic arts, and children’s books. Two of its authors, J.M.G. Le Clézio and Patrick Modiano, have received the Nobel Prize.

Sam Sacks writes the Wall Street Journal’s weekly Fiction Chronicle. He is also a founding editor of the online arts and literature journal Open Letters Monthly. His criticism has appeared in the London Review of BooksCommentaryProspect, the New Yorker’s book blog Page-Turner, the Barnes & Noble Review, and elsewhere. He lives in New York City.

This is a co-presentation by the Bridge and the PEN Translation Committee, PEN American Center. 


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Samantha Schnee & Carmen Boullosa, October 29, 8PM

Samantha Schnee & Carmen Boullosa

Schnee Boullosa photo


discussing Latin American literature in translation
and reading from their new novel
(Deep Vellum 2014)

Wednesday, October 29, 8PM
McNally Jackson 
52 Prince Street, NYC, 10012

*revised event program; Gregory Rabassa will not be presenting
as originally announced


Texas Cover small
Samantha Schnee is the founding editor of Words Without Borders, a website of literature from over 100 countries, translated into English. She holds an MFA in Fiction from the New School and a BA in English Literature from Dartmouth College. She has been translating from the Spanish for a decade and has worked with Carmen Boullosa since 2006. Her translation of Boullosa’s novel Texas will be published by Deep Vellum Publishing in December 2014.

Carmen Boullosa is one of Mexico’s leading writers. The author of over a dozen novels that have received numerous prizes and honors, Boullosa has been a Guggenheim Fellow and a Cullman Center Fellow at the New York Public Library. Also a poet and playwright, she has taught at New York University, Columbia University, CUNY, and Georgetown, among other universities, and she hosts a television show, Nueva York, on CUNY-TV, which has received five New York Emmys. Her work has been translated into several languages, and she is currently a FONCA fellow in Mexico. She lives in Brooklyn and Mexico City. More information can be found at, and her twitter handle is @carmenboullosa.

This is a co-presentation by the Bridge and the PEN Translation Committee, PEN American Center. 


Photo credit for Samantha Schnee © Anita Staff.


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Imaginary Gardens With Real Robots in Them

imaginarygardens-translators2The Bridge Series &
PEN American Center Translation Committee

launch their new partnership and invite you to join us
at the Brooklyn Book Festival
with three prominent translators of science fiction

Ross Benjamin (German)
Terry Gallagher (Japanese)
Michael Kandel (Polish)

who will read and discuss their work

@ Singularity & Co. bookstore
18 Bridge St., Brooklyn, NY 11201

September 18, 2014, @ 7 PM

An Official Brooklyn Book Festival Bookend Event

ROSS BENJAMIN is a translator of German literature and a writer living in Nyack, New York. His translations include Friedrich Hölderlin’s Hyperion, Kevin Vennemann’s Close to Jedenew, Joseph Roth’s Job, Thomas Pletzinger’s Funeral for a Dog, and Wolfgang Jeschke’s The Cusanus Game. He was awarded the 2010 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize for his rendering of Michael Maar’s Speak, Nabokov. His literary criticism has appeared in The Times Literary Supplement, Bookforum, The Nation, and other publications. He was a 2003–2004 Fulbright Scholar in Berlin and is a graduate of Vassar College. He is currently at work on a translation of Franz Kafka’s complete Diaries, and his translation of Clemens Setz’s novel Indigo will be published by Liveright/Norton in November 2014.

TERRY GALLAGHER is best known for his translations of Toh EnJoe, 2012 winner of Japan’s prestigious Akutagawa Prize. Gallagher’s translation of EnJoe’s debut work, Self-Reference ENGINE (Viz Media, 2013), received the Philip K. Dick Award Special Citation this year. In the 1990s, Gallagher contributed translations of short stories by Masahiko Shimada and Amy Yamada to Monkey Brain Sushi (Kodansha), a ground-breaking anthology of new Japanese literature. He has translated a total of five book-length works for Viz Media, and short stories for the anthologies Monkey Business 4 (A Public Space, 2014), The Future is Japanese (Viz, 2012), and Speculative Japan 2 (Kurodahan Press, 2011). Gallagher spent 15 years as a journalist for Reuters and Dow Jones, in Tokyo, Bonn and New York. Originally from Brooklyn, he graduated from Brown University, and has now lived for 15 years on Cape Cod (yes, even in winter).

MICHAEL KANDEL is perhaps best known for his translation of major works—including Fiasco, His Master’s Voice, The Cyberiad, A Perfect Vacuum, and The Futurological Congress—of Polish science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem. Kandel has also translated works by Jacek Dukaj and Andrzej Sapkoswki, and he is the editor and translator of the anthology A Polish Book of Monsters. He also worked as an editor at Harcourt, where he acquired authors Jonathan Lethem, Ursula K. Le Guin, James Morrow, and others. Kandel was a Fulbright student in Poland, 1966-67; received his PhD in Slavic Literature at Indiana University; taught Russian literature at George Washington University; wrote a few articles on Lem; and has written science fiction, short stories, and a few novels (published by Bantam, St. Martin’s); and is presently an editor at the Modern Language Association. His translation of Marek Huberath’s Nest of Worlds was published by Restless Books last year.

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Rika Lesser & Denise Newman, Thursday, 6/19 @8 PM


Rika Lesser & Denise Newman

will read and discuss their work

Thursday, June 19, 8 PM

please note the slightly different time: 8 PM

McNally Jackson Books
52 Prince Street, New York City 10012

This is the second in a series of readings featuring translators who are poets.



RIKA LESSER is the author of four books of poetry, most recently Questions of Love: New & Selected Poems and a revised edition of Etruscan Things. She has translated more than a dozen collections of poetry or fiction for readers of all ages, among them works by Göran Sonnevi, Gunnar Ekelöf, and Claes Andersson from Swedish and Rafik Schami, Rainer Maria Rilke, and Hermann Hesse from German. Her honors include the Amy Lowell Poetry Travelling Scholarship, an Ingram-Merrill Foundation Award in Poetry, The Landon Poetry Translation Prize, a Fulbright Commission fellowship, a 2001 NEA Translation Grant, and two Translation Prizes from the Swedish Academy. Her translation of Sonnevi’s Mozart’s Third Brain was a finalist for the PEN Poetry Translation Award (2010).
With the support of a 2013 NEA Translation Grant, Lesser has completed her translation of Elisabeth Rynell’s novel Hohaj. The Brazen Plagiarist, her co-translation of a volume of selected poems by Kiki Dimoula, with the Greek scholar, critic, and translator Cecile Inglessis Margellos, first published in 2012 by Yale University Press, came out in paper this year and received the Greek National Translation Prize. A master teacher of poetry and literary translation, she is also a Guild-Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner and makes her home in Brooklyn Heights.

DENISE NEWMAN is a poet and translator living in San Francisco. Her poetry collections are: The New Make Believe (The Post-Apollo Press, 2010), Wild Goods (Apogee Press, 2008), Human Forest (Apogee Press, 2000). She is the translator of the novel Azorno by the late Danish poet Inger Christensen (New Directions, 2009), and The Painted Room, also by Christensen (Harvill Press 1996, distributed by Random House UK). This year she received an NEA Literature Fellowship for Translation to complete her translation of the short story collection Baboon by the Danish writer Naja Marie Aidt, which will be published by Two Lines Press in the fall. She teaches in the writing programs at the California College of the Arts.

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