Nin Andrews in Conversation with James Kates of Zephyr Press

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NA:  You translate poetry from around the world including a Chinese, Russian, and Polish series. How do you pick your nationality?

JK: Again, one thing led to another. One of the editors working on an anthology of Polish poetry came to me for advice, based on my experience with the Russian. She thought she had a publisher already for her book; but, when that opportunity fell through, Zephyr picked up the book, Carnivorous Boy Carnivorous Bird, which in turn led to a spin-off of Polish poetry books initially based on the anthology.

Meanwhile, our new managing editor, Cris Mattison, brought with him to Zephyr a knowledge of both Russian and Chinese. His acquaintance with the Chinese poet Bei Dao led us to issue first Fissures, an anthology of contributions to the Chinese journal Jintian; and then a collection of Bei Dao’s essays, Blue House. More Chinese books followed; and, for the past couple of years, Cris has been living in Hong Kong, working with the Jintian Foundation, and finding more Chinese poets for us.

Click the image above for the full interview.