The PEN/Heim Translation Fund has announced its 2013 winners.
The Fund’s Advisory Board are: Susan Bernofsky, Barbara Epler, Richard Sieburth, Lauren Wein, Eliot Weinberger, Natasha Wimmer, Matvei Yankelevich, and chair Michael F. Moore.
Special congrats to:
Chloe Garcia Roberts for her translation of Escalating Derangements of My Contemporaries by the 9th century Classical Chinese poet Li Shangyin. Garcia Roberts’ translation of these spare, immediate poem-lists is lyrical and intuitive. (To be published by New Directions)
Not Poor: Indications
Thoroughbreds sighing. Wax tears on candles. Chestnut shells. Lychee husks. Stacks and heaps of money, rice. Mother of pearl hairpins, abandoned. Jargon of orioles, swallows. Eddies of fallen blossoms. Songs sung atop a tall building. Books read aloud. Sounds of grinding medicine, rolling tea.
Eleanor Goodman for Something Crosses My Mind, selected poems of Wang Xiaoni. Xiaoni’s sharp apprehensions of daily life have made her, since the 1970s, one of China’s most influential poets. Goodman’s pitch-perfect translation makes Xiaoni’s work available for the first time in book form in English. (To be published by Zephyr Press)
Typhoon, No. 1
The night of the typhoon, the sky was full, the world destroyed.
From west to east, herds of black cattle rolled on their heads the wind’s hoofs beat at the windows everything on the ground rose to the sky.
The people were packed into the night the night was packed into an exploding drum. The wildly arrogant air presented rolling tanks from another world. There was no sign of resistance that’s just the way the extraordinary happens.
Jeremy Tiang for Nine Buildings by Chinese playwright Zou Jingzhi. These blunt, tamped-down translations of tales of youth during cultural revolution in Beijing address the grim cruelty of that time. Tiang’s language has a tang and matter-of-factness that effectively communicates the harshness of this text. (Available for publication)
from The Za Zuan 雜纂 by Li Shangyin 李商隱, translated by Chloe Garcia Roberts:
A fat man in summer months.
Entering the dwelling of a hateful wife.
An impoverished scholar taking an examination.
Maliciously scolding other people’s servants, slave girls.
Discovering repellant behaviors in colleagues.
The Spring 2012 issue of Cerise Press is now online, with new work by Cole Swensen, interviews with Chinese translator Nicky Harman and Tibetan-Chinese writer Woeser ཚེ་རིང་འོད་ཟེར་ / 唯色, and an essay by Chloe Garcia Roberts on her translations of the poetry of late Tang poet Li Shangyin 李商隱.
Also see my feature “Xi Chuan: Poetry of the Anti-lyric” from an earlier issue, with translations of “Power Outage” 停电, “Re-reading Borges’s Poetry” 重读博尔赫斯诗歌, and “Three Chapters on Dusk” 黄昏三章. (And my earlier co-translations of poems by Bei Dao 北岛 with Clayton Eshleman).