Jonathan Cohen and Daniel Borzutzky, Monday 1/30

American Poetry Between Spanish & English

Jonathan Cohen

Editor, William Carlos Williams’
By Word of Mouth: Poems from the Spanish, 1916-1959 (New Directions, 2011)
Translator, Ernesto Cardenal’s Pluriverse (New Directions, 2009)
Author, A Pan-American Life: Selected Poetry and Prose of Muna Lee (Wisconsin, 2004)


Daniel Borzutzky

Translator, Raúl Zurita’s Song for His Disappeared Love (Action, 2010)
and Jaime Luis Huenún’s Port Trakl (Action, 2008)
Author, The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat, 2011)

a reading & discussion

Monday, January 30, 7 PM

McNally Jackson Books

52 Prince Street (between Lafayette & Mulberry)
New York, NY 10012 (212-274-1160)

Jonathan Cohen is an award-winning translator of Latin American poetry and scholar of inter-American literature. He has translated Ernesto Cardenal, Enrique Lihn, Pedro Mir, and Roque Dalton, among others. His own poems and essays have appeared widely. He is the author of pioneering critical works on Pablo Neruda and Muna Lee. The compiler of William Carlos Williams’s poems from the Spanish, he currently is preparing a new edition of Williams’s translation of the Golden Age novella, The Dog & the Fever, by Pedro de Espinosa.
Read Jonathan Cohen’s essay on William Carlos Williams as translator at Words without Borders

Daniel Borzutzky is the author of The Book of Interfering Bodies (Nightboat, 2011); The Ecstasy of Capitulation (BlazeVox, 2007) and Arbitrary Tales (Triple Press, 2005), as well as several chapbooks. His translations include Raúl Zurita’s Song for His Disappeared Love (Action Books, 2010) and Jaime Luis Huenún’s Port Trakl (Action Books, 2008), among others. His work has been anthologized in, among others, A Best of Fence: The First Nine Years (Fence Books), Seriously Funny (University of Georgia Press, 2010), and Malditos Latinos Malditos Sudacas: Poesia Iberoamericana Made in USA (El billar de Lucrecia, 2010).  Journal publications include Fence, Denver Quarterly, Conjunctions, Chicago Review, TriQuarterly, and many others. He lives in Chicago.

Read Kristin Dykstra’s interview with Daniel Borzutzky at BOMB

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Davis & Moschovakis, Friday, December 9, 6PM

translators from the French

Lydia Davis & Anna Moschovakis

read from their work

Friday, December 9, 2011, 6:00 PM

The Center for Fiction

17 East 47th Street
(between Fifth & Madison)
New York, NY 10017

Lydia Davis is an acclaimed translator and fiction writer. Her most recent translation is Gustave Flaubet’s Madame Bovary (Viking Press, 2010); past translations include works by Maurice Blanchot, Michel Leiris, Vivant Denon, Michel Butor, and Pierre Jean Jouve. Her translation of Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way (Penguin Classics, 2004), part of a complete new translation of In Search of Lost Time, received the 2003 French-American Foundation and Florence Gould Foundation Translation Prize, which is the second time she has received this award—in 1992, her translation of Michel Leiris’s Scratches was similarly honored. Davis has been named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government for her translations and her fiction. She is the author of numerous short story collections, including Varieties of Disturbance (a finalist for the National Book Award), Samuel Johnson is Indignant, Almost No Memory, Break It Down, Story and Other Stories, Sketches for a Life of Wassilly, The Thirteenth Woman, and of one novel, The End of the Story. Her stories were recently brought together in one volume, The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis (FSG, 2009), which was called “one of the great, strange American literary contributions” by James Wood in The New Yorker. Davis has received MacArthur and Guggenheim grants and she is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Anna Moschovakis has translated The Jokers by Albert Cossery (New York Review Books), The Engagement by Georges Simenon (New York Review Books) and The Possession by Annie Ernaux (Seven Stories Press). She is the author of two books of poetry, You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake (Coffee House Press, 2011) and I Have Not Been Able to Get Through to Everyone (Turtle Point Press, 2006), and a number of chapbooks including The Blue Book, Dependence Day Parade, and No Medea. Her awards include fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Fund for Poetry, and a translation fellowship from Le Centre National du Livre. Her translation of The Jokers was a finalist for the Best Translated Book Award and the French-American Foundation and Florence Gould Foundation Translation Prize. She is a longtime member of Brooklyn-based publishing collective Ugly Duckling Presse, for which she edits several books a year and heads up the Dossier Series of investigative texts.

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“Counterfeits” launch, Wednesday, November 9, 7:30 PM

  • The NYC launch of the new issue of Two Lines magazine
  • Counterfeits

  • with readings by
  • Luc Sante
  • Alyson Waters
  • Alex Zucker
  • Magdaléna Platzová
  • Adam Giannelli
  • Patrick Phillips
  • Wednesday, November 9, 7:30 PM,
  • McNally Jackson Books
  • 52 Prince Street (between Lafayette & Mulberry)
  • New York, NY  10012
  • 212-274-1160

Adam Giannelli is a poet, translator, and professor of English. He edited the essay collection High Lonesome: On the Poetry of Charles Wright (Oberlin, 2006). His translations of Argentinian poet Alejandra Pizarnik’s work have appeared in the magazines Field, Hanging Loose, Beloit Poetry Journal, Mantis, and elsewhere.

Patrick Phillips began translating Henrik Nordbrandt’s poems while on a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Copenhagen; in 2012, Open Letter Press will publish Cathedral: Selected Poems of Henrik Nordbrandt in his translation. His work has received both the 2001 Sjöberg Prize and the 2008 Translation Prize of the American-Scandinavian Foundation, and has appeared in many magazines, including American Poetry Review, Agni, and New England Review. He is currently a Guggenheim Fellow in poetry.

Magdaléna Platzová is the author of two novels, Návrat přítelkyně (Return of a Friend) and Aaronův skok (Aaron’s Leap) and two collections of short stories, Sůl, ovce a kamení (Salt, Sheep and Stones) and Recyklovaný muž (The Recycled Man), as well as poetry, plays, and a children’s book. She was previously the editor of the prestigious Czech journal Literární noviny; she now writes on culture and literature for the Prague weekly Respekt.

Luc Sante’s books include Low Life, The Factory of Facts, and Kill All Your Darlings. He edited and translated Félix Fénéon’s Novels in Three Lines (New York Review Books, 2007), and has published translations of shorter works by Arthur Rimbaud, Robert Desnos, Ernest Coeurderoy, and Jean-Paul Clébert. He teaches writing and the history of photography at Bard College. He is currently translating Lower Your Hearts! by Georges Darien and My Red Notebooks by Maxime Vuillaume.

Alyson Waters has translated books by Albert Cossery, Yasmina Khadra, Louis Aragon, Vassilis Alexakis, Daniel Arasse, René Belletto, Emmanuel Bove, and Éric Chevillard, among others. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the PEN Translation Fund, and the Centre National du Livre. She teaches literary translation at Yale University.

Alex Zucker’s translation of Jáchym Topol’s first novel, City Sister Silver (Catbird Press, 2000), was selected for the guide 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. His translation of Petra Hůlová’s first novel, All This Belongs to Me (Northwestern UP, 2009), received the 2010 National Translation Award from the American Literary Translators Association. His last book-length translation was Patrik Ouředník’s The Opportune Moment, 1855 (Dalkey Archive Press, 2010). He recently received an NEA fellowship to support the translation of Vladislav Vančura’s classic novel Marketa Lazarova.

About “Counterfeits”

“Everything in this volume, including the section called ‘Focus on Noir Literature’—edited by Luc Sante, one of our greatest critics—will seduce the reader into a new state of mind.” —David Varno, Words Without Borders

Delving deep into the renaissance of international noir, and with new translations of writing from César Aira, Primo Levi, Albert Cossery, Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, Vénus Khoury-Gata, and over thirty other celebrated authors, “Counterfeits” is the eighteenth installment of Two Lines, a celebrated annual anthology of international literature published by the Center for the Art of Translation.

This latest volume features a special section of innovative international noir from Slovakia, Egypt, Chile, Russia, and more, including a new translation from Steven T. Murray, the award-winning translator of Stieg Larsson. The issue is also highlighted by poetry editor Rosanna Warren’s selections from Mongolian, Catalan, Vietnamese, and Bulgarian poets, among many others. With texts printed bilingually and essays by each translator about their work, “Counterfeits” is an incredible showcase of some of the finest English-language translators working today.

For more information about the issue, exclusive online content, or to buy a copy, go to

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Willen, Epler & Siciliano, Friday, November 4, 7PM

Three distinguished editors of translations

Drenka Willen, Barbara Epler & John Siciliano

discuss acquisitions, editing, and promotion

Friday, November 4, 2011, 7:00 PM

The Center for Fiction

17 East 47th Street  (between Fifth and Madison)
New York, NY 10017

Drenka Willen joined Harcourt as a translator and freelance editor in the 1960s. In 1981, she took over day-to-day duties for the Helen & Kurt Wolff Books imprint, and she has been a senior editor at the company, now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, since then. Four of the authors she has edited have won the Nobel Prize: Günter Grass, José Saramago, Wisława Szymborska, and Octavio Paz. Her distinguished list also includes Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino, Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, Charles Simic, Cees Nooteboom, Tomaž Šalamun, Danilo Kiš, Bohumil Hrabal, Ryszard Kapuściński, Yehuda Amichai, and Stanislaw Lem, among others. She is the recipient of the Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction and the London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award.

Barbara Epler grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and started working at New Directions after graduating from Harvard in 1984; she is now the editor-in-chief and publisher. She has acquired works by W.G. Sebald and Roberto Bolaño, as well as Tomas Tranströmer,
László Krasznahorkai, Victor Pelevin, Inger Christensen, Yoel Hoffmann, Yoko Tawada, and Javier Marías. She was a contributing editor to Grand Street and has acted as a judge for the PEN/Nelson Algren Prize, the Bobst Emerging Fiction Prize (at NYU Press), and the PEN Translation Fund Awards.

John Siciliano is a senior editor at Penguin Group (USA). He publishes writers from around the world—classic and contemporary, famous and forgotten and first-time—for the Viking, Penguin, and Penguin Classics imprints. He has published books from China, Japan, Turkey, Macedonia, Russia, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Kenya. Recent books he has worked on include Lydia Davis’s translation of Madame Bovary, the Finnish writer Arto Paasilinna’s novel The Year of the Hare, and Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s There Once
Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby.

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Mehrotra & Grunebaum, Wednesday, November 2, 7PM

translators from the Hindi

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra & Jason Grunebaum

read from their work

Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 7:00 PM

McNally Jackson Books

52 Prince Street
(between Lafayette & Mulberry)
New York, NY 10012

co-sponsored by McNally Jackson & New York Review Books

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra was born in Lahore in 1947. He has translated Songs of Kabir (New York Review Books Classics, 2011) and The Absent Traveller: Prakrit Love Poetry from the Gāthāsaptaśatī of Sātavāhana Hāla (Penguin Classics, 2008). In the New York Times Book Review, August Kleinzahler compared his translations of Kabir to previous translations done by Ezra Pound, Robert Bly, and Rabindranath Tagore, saying “Mehrotra’s new translation brings the poetry of the great 15th-century Indian poet and holy man to life in English for the first time… it is Mehrotra who has succeeded in capturing the ferocity and improvisational energy of Kabir’s poetry.” Mehrotra is the editor of Collected Poems in English by Arun Kolatkar (Bloodaxe Books, 2010), The History of Indian Literature in English (Columbia University Press, 2003), The Last Bungalow: Writings on Allahabad (Penguin, 2003), Periplus: Poetry in Translation (with Daniel Weissbort, Oxford University Press, 1993), and The Oxford India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets (OUP, 1992). He has published four collections
of poetry, The Transfiguring Places, Distance in Statute Miles, Middle Earth, and Nine Enclosures. A volume of his essays, Partial Recall: Essays on Literature and Literary History, was published in 2011 by the press Permanent Black. He has also been the editor of the literary magazines Ezra, Fakir, and Concrete Poetry. He is a professor of English at the University of Allahabad and lives in Allahabad and Dehra Dun.

Jason Grunebaum is a Senior Lecturer in Hindi at the University of Chicago. He is the
translator of Uday Prakash’s novel The Girl with the Golden Parasol (Penguin India, 2008) and Manzoor Ahtesham’s The Tale of the Missing Man (with Ulrike Stark). His translation of Prakash’s story “The Walls of Delhi” was included in Delhi Noir (Akashic Books, 2009) and will be published along with two other novellas by Uday Prakash in a collection entitled The Walls of Delhi in early 2012 by University of Western Australia Press. Grunebaum has been awarded a PEN Translation Fund grant, a NEA Literature fellowship, and an ALTA fellowship for his translation work, as well as residencies at the Blue Mountain Center for the Arts and the Djerassi Foundation. He has a B.A. from Brown University and a M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia University. His fiction has been published in the magazines One Story, Web Conjunctions, Southwest Review, and Third Coast. Salman Rushdie selected his “Maria Ximenes da Costa de Carvalho Perreira” as a
distinguished short story of 2007.

The Bridge is the first independent reading and discussion series in New York City devoted to literary translation. In association with McNally Jackson Books, one of the city’s premier independent booksellers, and other engaged cultural institutions, the series aims to promote public awareness about the art of translation by serving as a regular venue for readings, by both well-established and emerging translators and authors, and discussions on a range of translation-related issues. For regular updates, please email “subscribe” to, or join our Facebook page.

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David Bellos, Is That a Fish In Your Ear? Thursday,10/13

David Bellos

translator of

Georges Perec’s Life: A User’s Manual (1987)
& The Art and Craft of Approaching Your Head of Department
to Submit a Request for a Raise (2011);
and Ismail Kadare’s The File on H (1996) & The Siege (2008)

will present & discuss his new book

Is That a Fish in Your Ear?
Translation and the Meaning of Everything
(Faber & Faber 2011)

Thursday, October 15th, 2011, 7:00 PM

McNally Jackson Books

52 Prince Street
 (between Lafayette & Mulberry)
New York, NY 10012

“Forget the fish—it’s David Bellos you want in your ear when the talk is about translation. Bellos dispels many of the gloomy truisms of the trade and reminds us what an infinitely flexible instrument the English language (or any language) is. Sparkling, independent-minded analysis of everything from Nabokov’s insecurities to Google Translate’s felicities fuels a tender—even romantic—account of our relationship with words.” Natasha Wimmer, translator of Roberto Bolaño’s Savage Detectives and 2666

 “In the guise of a book about translation this is a richly original cultural history . . . A book for anyone interested in words, language and cultural anthropology. Mr Bellos’s fascination with his subject is itself endlessly fascinating.” The Economist

Funny and surprising on every page, Is That a Fish in Your Ear? offers readers new insight into the mystery of how we come to know what someone else means—whether we wish to understand Astérix cartoons or a foreign head of state. Using translation as his lens, David Bellos shows how much we can learn about ourselves by exploring the ways we use translation, from the historical roots of written language to the stylistic choices of Ingmar Bergman, from the United Nations General Assembly to the significance of James Cameron’s Avatar. Is That a Fish in Your Ear? ranges across human experience to describe why translation sits deep within us all, and why we need it in so many situations, from the spread of religion to our appreciation of literature; indeed, Bellos claims that all writers are by definition translators. Written with joie de vivre, reveling both in misunderstanding and communication, littered with wonderful asides, it promises any reader new eyes through which to understand the world.

Publisher’s page:

Watch the video

Salon‘s Thomas Rogers talks with David Bellos about Is That a Fish In Your Ear? and translation.


David Bellos is the director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University, where he is also a professor of French and comparative literature. He has won many awards for his translations of Georges Perec, Ismail Kadare, and others, including the Man Booker International Translator’s Award. He also received the Prix Goncourt for George Perec: A Life in Words.

The Bridge is the first independent reading and discussion series in New York City devoted to literary translation. It aims to promote public awareness about the art of translation by serving as a regular venue for readings, by both well-established and emerging translators and authors, and discussions on a range of issues related to this important literary art and practice. For more information on the series and our upcoming events, please visit our website,, or our Facebook page, and receive regular updates by emailing “subscribe” to:


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Carson, Chejfec & Van Lanen, Thursday, September 15, 7PM

Margaret Carson, Sergio Chejfec & E.J. Van Lanen

read & discuss the translation, editing & writing of
My Two Worlds (Open Letter Books)

Thursday, September 15th, 2011, 7:00 PM

McNally Jackson Books

52 Prince Street
(between Lafayette & Mulberry)
New York, NY 10012

Margaret Carson translates contemporary poetry, fiction, and drama from Latin America. Recent translations include Virgilio Piñera’s “Electra Garrigó” and Griselda Gambaro’s “The Camp,” published in Stages of Conflict: A Critical Anthology of Latin American Theater and Performance (2008) and Mercedes Roffé’s The Radiance of Things. She teaches in the Modern Language Department at Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Sergio Chejfec, originally from Argentina, has published numerous works of fiction, poetry, and essays, among them Lenta biografía (1990), El aire (1992), El llamado de la especie (1997), Cinco (1998), Los Planetas (1999), Boca de lobo (2000), Los incompletos (2004), El punto vacilante (2005) Baroni- Un viaje, (2007) and Mis dos mundos (2008). His books have been translated into French, German, and Portuguese; My Two
is his first novel to be translated into English. Among many grants and
 prizes, he has received fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in 2007 and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation in 2000. Chejfec lived in Caracas, Venezuela between 1990 and 2005, where he was editor of Nueva Sociedad, a journal of social sciences, politics, and culture. He currently resides in New York and teaches in the Creative Writing in Spanish Program at NYU.

E.J. Van Lanen is the senior editor at Open Letter Books, Rochester, NY,  a press dedicated to publishing innovative works of fiction from around the world.

The Bridge is the first independent reading and discussion series in New York City devotedto literary translation. In association with McNally Jackson Books, one of the city’s premier independent booksellers, and other engaged cultural institutions, the series aims to promote public awareness about the art of translation by serving as a regular venue for readings, by both well-established and emerging translators and authors, and discussions on a range of translation-related issues. For regular updates, please email “subscribe” to, or join our Facebook page.

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