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The Language of Nature: Anna Badkhen, Eliane Brum, Diane Grosklaus Whitty

A reading and conversation with Orion Magazine contributors Anna Badkhen, Eliane Brum, and Diane Grosklaus Whitty
From left to right: Diane Grosklaus Whitty, Anna Badhken, Eliane Brum

This event celebrates Orion’s spring 2023 issue, “The Language of Nature,” with readings from authors Eliane Brum and Anna Badkhen and translator Diane Grosklaus Whitty, followed by a discussion moderated by Karen M. Phillips, executive director at Words Without Borders.

The spring 2023 issue of Orion features exclusively works in or about translation, engaging with over twenty-five languages across six continents. Arriving at a time when the written word feels inadequate to capture the enormity of the climate crisis, the work in this issue will examine how languages are informed by the environments in which they evolved and how our understanding of nature is changed by the words we use to describe it. This special issue includes a new essay by Anna Badkhen and another by Eliane Brum, translated from the Portuguese by Diane Grosklaus Whitty.

Event co-presented by Orion and Words Without Borders.

About the participants

Anna Badkhen was born in the Soviet Union and is now an American citizen. She is the author of seven books of nonfiction, including The World Is a Carpet and Waiting for the Taliban. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Barry Lopez Visiting Writer in Ethics and Community Fellowship, and a Joel R. Seldin Award from Psychologists for Social Responsibility for writing about civilians in war zones.

Eliane Brum is an award-winning Brazilian journalist, writer, and documentarist. Her first work of nonfiction to be translated into English, The Collector of Leftover Souls, was long-listed for the National Book Award. She lives in Altamira, in the Amazon.

Diane Grosklaus Whitty is a translator of Portuguese literature whose works include Activist Biology by Regina Horta Duarte, The Sanitation of Brazil by Gilberto Hochman, The Devil in the Land of the Holy Cross by Laura de Mello e Souza, and Our Immoral Soul by Nilton Bonder. Her work has appeared in Harper’sGlossaliaLitroManoa, and The Guardian.

Karen M. Phillips serves as Executive Director and Publisher at Words Without Borders (WWB), where she is focused on expanding access to international literature. Prior to joining WWB, Karen worked at the Americas Society, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and as a consultant to international cultural organizations including Germany’s UNESCO Commission.

Accessibility note: Automatic captioning via Zoom and an accessibility packet will be available for this event.