A Reading List for National Translation Month 2022

For National Translation Month, observed annually during the month of September, we asked the many independent literary presses and magazines that make up our membership to share with us some of the literature they have published in translation.



Except for this Unseen Thread: Selected Poems by Ra’ad Abdulqadir

Translated from Arabic by Mona Kareem

Ugly Duckling Presse | 2021

According to Don Mee Choi, “Ra’ad Abdulqadir’s Selected Poems consists of fragile, tender moments observed during life and death under sanctions and wars in Iraq.”



Women of the Big Sky by Liliana Ancalao

Translated from Spanish by Seth Michelson

The Word Works |  2020

According to Seth Michelson, in this trilingual collection Mapuche poet Ancalao “sings not only of the historical brutalities and humiliations perpetrated against her people, but also of their courage, beauty, strength, and complexity.”



Hollow by Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles

Translated from Filipino by Kristine Ong Muslim

Fernwood Press | 2022

According to Ilya Kaminsky, “Arguelles’s poetry is a result of his unique deconstructive processes: intensely curated erasures from a variety of primary texts.”



Geometry of Shadows by Giorgio de Chirico

Translated from Italian by Stefania Heim

A Public Space Books | 2019

Geometry of Shadows is “the first comprehensive collection of Giorgio de Chirico’s Italian poems, with award-winning poet Stefania Heim’s English translations presented alongside the Italian originals.”



Lavinia and Her Daughters: A Carpathian Elegy by Ioana Ieronim

Translated from Romanian by Adam J. Sorkin and Ioana Ieronim

Červená Barva Press | 2019

According to Flavia Cosma, this poetry collection represents “both a meditation upon the ultimate sense of existence and a spiritual thirst for harmony and understanding.”



Names and Rivers by Shuri Kido

Translated from Japanese by Tomoyuki Endo and Forrest Gander

Copper Canyon Press | 2022

In this bilingually presented poetry collection, Kido is “drawing influence from Japanese culture and geography, Buddhist teachings, and modernist poets.”



Sunday Sparrows by Song Lin

Translated from Chinese by Jami Proctor Xu

Zephyr Press | 2020

This poetry collection is by “one of China’s most distinguished poets,” whose poems “explore his sojourns in several countries, the natural world outside him, and his own inner landscape.”



Terribly in Love by Tautvyda Marcinkevičiūtė

Translated from Lithuanian by H.L. Hix, Julie Kane, and more

Lost Horse Press | 2018

Published in a bilingual edition, Terribly in Love “addresses with courage and clarity the question of how not only to survive, but also to maintain dignity and pursue integrity.”



Dream Pattering Soles by Miguelángel Meza

Translated from Guaraní and Spanish by Elisa Taber

Ugly Duckling Presse | 2021

In this poetry collection, “Meza’s words are signifiers without hierarchy within the lyric structure that reference the cosmological Mbyá Guaraní narratives.”




The River in the Belly by Fiston Mwanza Mujila

Translated from the French by J. Bret Maney

Deep Vellum Publishing | 2021

Mujila’s debut poetry collection in English is “a moving lyric meditation on the Democratic Republic of Congo and its namesake river.”



Dead Letter Office: Selected Poems by Marko Pogačar

Translated from Croatian by Andrea Jurjević

The Word Works | 2020

Pogačar’s poetry collection “reminds us that god(s) don’t exist, that we have to find our individual paths in life, and take responsibility for it.”



Selected Works by Yi Sang

Translated from Korean by Jack Jung, Don Mee Choi, Sawako Nakayasu, Joyelle McSweeney

Wave Books | 2020

Edited by Don Mee Choi, this selection of poems, stories, and essays by “one of the great revolutionary legacies of modern Korean literature” is a “visionary and daring response to personal and national trauma.”



I Even Regret Night: Holi Songs of Demerara by Lalbihari Sharma

Translated from the Bhojpuri dialect by Rajiv Mohabir

Kaya Press | 2019

Originally published in India in 1916, this collection of spiritual songs is “the only known literary work written by an indentured servant in the Anglophone Caribbean.”



The Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese

Translated from Chinese by Arthur Sze

Copper Canyon Press | 2001

This collection features work “by poets who have had a profound effect on Chinese culture, American poetics, and Sze’s own maturation as an artist.”




Bright Scythe by Tomas Tranströmer

Translated from Swedish by Patty Crane

Sarabande Books | 2015

Presented in a bilingual edition, these poems “offer mysterious glimpses of insight into the deepest facets of humanity.”




Mountain and Flower: Selected Poems by Mykola Vorobiov

Translated from Ukrainian by Maria G. Rewakowicz

Lost Horse Press | 2020

This poetry collection spans more than fifty years of Vorobiov’s poems, which “hover around the issues of existence on all possible levels—plants, animals, humans, inanimate objects, and the universe.”



Xeixa: Fourteen Catalan Poets

Translated from Catalan by Marlon L. Fick and Francisca Esteve

Tupelo Press | 2018

According to Ilya Kaminsky, this collection “teaches us how to take a hurt and make it into a song, teaches us how a private whisper can become everyone’s private whisper, how a poem in Catalan can become an equally beautiful, terrifying, inspiring poem in English.”




Grieving: Dispatches from a Wounded Country by Cristina Rivera Garza

Translated from Spanish by Sarah Booker

Feminist Press | 2020

Grieving is a “hybrid collection of short crónicas, journalism, and personal essays on systemic violence in contemporary Mexico and along the US-Mexico border.”



The Communicating Vessels by Friederike Mayröcker

Translated from German by Alexander Booth

A Public Space Books | 2021

The Communicating Vessels is “an intensely personal book of mourning, comprised of 140 entries spanning the course of a year and exploring everyday life in the immediate aftermath” of Ernst Jandl’s death.



Neon South by Marko Pogačar

Translated from Croatian by Mirza Purić

Sandorf Passage | 2022

Neon South is “an off-the-beaten-path Latin American travel narrative that unfolds like a novel, shadowing locals all too aware of how outside influences, from colonialism to globalism, have changed their lives.”



Adamah: Poeme by Celine Zins

Translated from French by Peter Schulman

Gival Press | 2008

Taking its title from the Hebrew word for earth, this poetry collection “takes us on a journey through grief, memory and the resolution to march forward.”





They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears by Johannes Anyuru

Translated from Swedish by Saskia Vogel

Two Lines Press | 2019

According to the 2020 Firecracker Award judges, “This exceptional novel defies categorization and investigates the many facets of terror and xenophobia through the story of a radicalized young woman.”



Puro Amor by Sandra Cisneros

Translated from Spanish by Liliana Valenzuela

Sarabande Books | 2018

This bilingual chapbook, which includes line drawings by Cisneros, features “hairless dogs, monkeys, a fawn, a ‘passionate’ Guacamaya macaw, tarantulas, an iguana,” and other animals.



Imminence by Mariana Dimópulos

Translated from Spanish by Alice Whitmore

Transit Books | 2021

According to J. M. Coetzee, “With its caustic vignettes of male vanity and its subtle self-mockery, Imminence is playful on the surface, dark and disturbing in its depths.”



Roundabout of Death by Faysal Khartash

Translated from Arabic by Max Weiss

New Vessel Press | 2021

Set in Aleppo in 2012, this novel “offers powerful witness to the violence that obliterated the ancient city’s rich layers of history, its neighborhoods and medieval and Ottoman landmarks.”



Grove by Esther Kinsky

Translated from German by Caroline Schmidt

Transit Books | 2020

This novel is, according to Lucy Scholes, “a story of an existence stilled by loss, but the promise of life, and with it renewal and hope, pulses gently but steadily at its heart.”



The Neptune Room by Bertrand Laverdure

Translated from French by Oana Avasilichioaei

Book*hug Press | 2020

In The Neptune Room, Laverdure tells “a transformational tale about the mysteries of identity and the power dynamics that surround it.”



Seasons of Purgatory by Shahriar Mandanipour

Translated from Persian by Sara Khalili

Bellevue Literary Press | 2022

In this short fiction collection, “the fantastical and the visceral merge in tales of tender desire and collective violence, the boredom and brutality of war, and the clash of modern urban life and rural traditions.”



The Dark Library by Cyrille Martinez

Translated from French by Joseph Patrick Stancil

Coach House Books | 2020

This novel is “a theoretical fiction, a meditation on what libraries mean in our digital world” as well as “a love letter to the urban forest of the dark, wild library, where ideas and stories roam free.”



From the Shadows by Juan José Millás

Translated from Spanish by Thomas Bunstead and Daniel Hahn

Bellevue Literary Press | 2019

This novel is “a wild, absurdist story about a lonely man’s misguided attempts to connect.”




Pina by Titaua Peu

Translated from French by Jeffrey Zuckerman

Restless Books | 2022

Winner of the 2019 French Voices Grand Prize, this novel is “about a family torn apart by secrets and the legacy of colonialism and held together by nine-year-old Pina, a girl shouldering the immeasurable weight of her family’s traumas.”



Arid Dreams by Duanwad Pimwana

Translated from Thai by Mui Poopoksakul

Feminist Press | 2019

In this collection’s thirteen stories that “investigate ordinary and working-class Thailand, characters aspire for more but remain suspended in routine.”



Victorious by Yishai Sarid

Translated from Hebrew by Yardenne Greenspan

Restless Books | 2022

This novel is “a gripping examination of the complexities of military service as experienced by Abigail, a psychologist who becomes implicated in the dilemmas soldiers encounter both on and off the battlefield.”



The Shehnai Virtuoso by Dhumketu

Translated from Gujarati by Jenny Bhatt

Deep Vellum | 2022

According to Publishers Weekly, “Complex characters, vibrant imagery, and descriptions of rural Gujarat State bolster each of the stories.”



Violets by Kyung-sook Shin

Translated from Korean by Anton Hur

Feminist Press | 2022

In this novel set over the course of one summer in Seoul, Shin “explores misogyny, erasure, and repressed desire.”



Pollak’s Arm by Hans von Trotha

Translated from German by Elisabeth Lauffer

New Vessel Press | 2022

According to Salvatore Settis, this novel “brings back to life the voice of Ludwig Pollak who, when confronted with Nazi-occupied Rome’s grim reality, powerfully conveys a taste for collecting, the pleasure of erudition, and an unshakeable faith in culture.”



Fauna by Christiane Vadnais

Translated from French by Pablo Strauss

Coach House Books | 2020

This collection of “lush and bracing linked climate fictions depict a world gorgeous and terrifying in its likeness to our own.”




Radio Siga by Ivan Vidak

Translated from Croatian by Matt Robinson

Sandorf Passage | 2022

Set in World War II Yugoslavia, this novel follows “a hard-drinking, but well-meaning, layabout who is forever changed after being struck by lightning.”



Literary Magazines


Libyan Stories from the novel Bread on Uncle Milad’s Table by Mohammed al-Naas

Translated from Arabic by Rana Asfour

The Markaz Review | 2022

These excerpts begin, “So, let’s start from the beginning. I am Milad Al-Osta. I’m told I resemble Cheb Khaled, when he used to be thin.”


“I am Kafka, a Cat” by Roy Vadíl Aragon

Translated from Ilokano by Amado Anthony G. Mendoza III and Roy Vadíl Aragon

Evergreen Review | 2021

This story begins, “I just woke up one day as a cat. No explanations. It wasn’t any different from Franz Kafka’s novel—a man who suddenly transformed into a cockroach or a beetle—that I wrote a term paper about.”



From “Doubly Cursed” by Kausalya Baisantry

Translated from Hindi by Christi A. Merrill

Words Without Borders | 2018

This essay begins, “When my parents finally, after six girls, saw my brother come into this world, their happiness could not be contained.”



“[The sea swarms. Your shout extends.]” by Claudia Becerra

Translated from Spanish by Jacqui Cornetta

Words Without Borders | 2022

The subjects in these poems “are bounded by the shores of real and imaginary islands as they observe the arrivals and departures of others.”



“Exile Poem” by Tuhin Das

Translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha

Words Without Borders | 2022

This poem begins, “It’s a little too quiet everywhere. / After evening fell, / enemy planes have dropped / on my house / a bomb of silence.”



“Poetics of Islands” by Ananda Devi

Translated from French by Kazim Ali 

AGNI | 2021

This essay begins, “I could have written poetically of the islands since they draw our destiny with their constellations on the ocean….”



“Panda Breeder” by Tang Fei

Translated from Chinese by Tony Huang

SmokeLong Quarterly | 2019

This flash fiction story begins, “The panda breeder came to the zoo earlier than the panda. This was a dangerous forced landing.”



“The Center of the Bed” by Wojciech Kass 

Translated from Polish by Daniel Bourne

Apple Valley Review | 2022

 This poem begins, “I think of this view out the window / into which I fall instantly from wakening….”



“The Orphan” by Ayagul Mantay

Translated from Kazakh by Zaure Batayeva

Evergreen Review | 2022

This story begins, “His real name was Nurseit. But his sisters-in-law called him Urseit, observing the Kazakh tradition of finding a cute nickname to avoid pronouncing the real names of the younger brothers of their husbands.”



“Big Laleh, Little Laleh” by Shokouh Moghimi

Translated from Persian by Salar Abdoh

The Markaz Review | 2022

This essay begins, “Everyone thought Laleh was majnoona—crazy, mad, not quite right in the head. Everyone, that is, except our father, Baba, and me.”



Prelude to “Dance of Agony” [1921] by Kim Ok

Translated from Korean by Ryan Choi

The Hopkins Review | 2022

This poem begins, “‘Life is born of Death… / only to return / in the end.’”



“The Word City” by Miguel Ortiz Rodríguez

Translated from Spanish by David Brunson

ANMLY | 2022

This poem begins, “The word city / hides / an animal dust….”



“Lessons for the Poros Naval Base” by Liana Sakelliou

Translated from Greek by Don Schofield

Apple Valley Review | 2020

In this poem, Sakelliou writes, “We’d dress up in furs and they / in their formal whites, swords at their sides.”



“I Am Still Thinking of That Raven” by Ahmad Shamloo

Translated from Persian by Fatemeh Madani Sarbarani

ANMLY | 2022

This poem begins, “Still / I am thinking of that raven in the Yoush valleys: / With its black scissors / over the blazed yellow of the grain field….”



“Ode to the Dove VII” by Avrom Sutzkever

Translated from Yiddish by Zackary Sholem Berger

The Hopkins Review | 2022

This poem begins, “What’s the wold? Just her melody;s waveish, forested, worldly / Keeping her godly melody into my veins: Be lordly!”



Serhiy Zhadan, Ukrainian poet, writing from his hometown of Kharkiv

Translated from Ukrainian by Virlana Tkacz

AGNI | 2022

This dispatch begins, “The sky over Kharkiv is big and clear. The stars as large as walnuts. You can see all the constellations.”