Skip to main content
Outdated Browser

For the best experience using our website, we recommend upgrading your browser to a newer version or switching to a supported browser.

More Information


Bright green fabric
Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash
Man of Satin
By Souhaib Ayoub
He smoked incessantly. I watched him with a silent longing.
Translated from Arabic by Sharon Grosso
A black microphone on a stand
Photo by Ilyass SEDDOUG on Unsplash
A Village Fest
By Alisa Ganieva
“It needn’t be me. I mean . . . I . . . I’m not much of an orator.”
Translated from Russian by Will Firth
A black and white image of a hairbrush with an engraved handle
Photo by Michèle C., licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The Making of Tenderness
By Lyuba Yakimchuk
and where do they make this tenderness / as the war rages on around them?
Translated from Ukrainian by Oksana Maksymchuk
Portraits of Yoko Tawada and Margaret Mitsutani
The National Book Award Interviews: Yoko Tawada & Margaret Mitsutani
By the Editors
“We’re living in a world where both languages and people are constantly in flux. In this novel, I wanted to focus on a small group of people making their way through that world.”
A black-and-white image of battered market kiosks
Photo copyright © Kseniya Fuchs
By Kseniya Fuchs
I knew I was born here and I would die here.
Translated from Ukrainian by Ali Kinsella
The Lights of the Donbas
By Danyil Zadorozhnyi
then there’s the war / that flabby, shriveled, animal word “war”
Translated from Russian by Yuliya Charnyshova & Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler
February 23, 2022
By Danyil Zadorozhnyi
“second time I’ve lost my home,” she utters with hatred / “officially, this time”
Translated from Ukrainian by Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler & Yuliya Charnyshova
Until the Threads Burn to Ash
By Aleksey Porvin
Hold an assault rifle with my hand, use my mouth
Translated from Russian by Isaac Stackhouse Wheeler
There’s No Getting Out
By Olga Bragina
we won't recognize this city anymore
Translated from Russian by Elina Alter
Transcending the Human Viewpoint
By Madeleine Feeny
I allowed myself to be very playful and unafraid, and to try everything.
Portrait of Meena Kandasamy
Image Copyright © Varun Vasudevan
The Poetry of Radical Female Fighters
By Suhasini Patni
When you are not held back by any fear, you can write songs of liberation.
A Tactical Alliance
By Mamadou Kalidou Ba
Depleted as they were, they realized that they had to either team up or go under.
Translated from French by Ros Schwartz
Writing Against Estrangement in Galicia
By Scott Shanahan
No doubt a few Galicians will think it in very bad taste to inaugurate this issue with a likeness to their higher profile southern neighbors, but because there may be a great many glad for the comparison,…
And They Say
By Susana Sanches Arins
i come from a family built on longing.
Translated from Galician by Kathleen March
Young Russophonia: New Literature in Russian
By Hilah Kohen & Josephine von Zitzewitz
These writings spark immediate conversations through rapid-fire literary texts rather than typical online commentary.
Destined from Birth
By Xenia Emelyanova
Enough of their butchery.
Translated from Russian by Katherine E. Young
New Voices: Afghan Women Writers
By Lucy Hannah
A nation’s upheaval cannot be understood without women's perspectives.
The Decision
By Afghan Author D
At that moment, there was another whistling sound, followed by a huge explosion.
Translated from Pashto by Zarghuna Kargar
Khurshid Khanum, Rise and Shine
By Afghan Author B
She could not have known that the caller at the other end of the phone was about to faint.
Translated from Dari by Parwana Fayyaz
Turn this Air Conditioner On, Sir
By Afghan Author C
It is one of those days when the winter sun is gorgeous, and you don’t want to even think of death.
Translated from Dari by Parwana Fayyaz
Time-Travelers, Fisherwomen, and Sleuths: Arabic Young Adult Literature
By Elisabeth Jaquette
While Arabic publishing has historically focused on literature for adults and young children, recent years have seen an increasing number of titles aimed at a young adult readership.
Mossy rocks at the edge of the coastline in Gaza
Photo by Emad El Byed on Unsplash
Against the Tide
By Taghreed Najjar
A young woman defies societal expectations to become Gaza’s first fisherwoman in this excerpt from Taghreed Najjar’s YA novel Against the Tide.
Translated from Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette
By Sonia Nimr
“It seems that Noor set fire to another student’s backpack.”
Translated from Arabic by M. Lynx Qualey
Black Saturday
By Djamila Morani
Soothsayers tell the truth even when they’re lying.
Translated from Arabic by Sawad Hussain
The Appearance of the Dragon, and His Disappearance
By Hooda El Shuwa
Khidr stepped out onto the street and was filled with an extraordinary horror.
Translated from Arabic by M. Lynx Qualey
A Note from the Editors: January 2020
By the Editors of Words Without Borders
A note from the editors on the occasion of our Rojava poetry feature.
[Only the madman has stayed behind in the city]
By Ciwan Nebî
What does he have to fear?
Translated from Kurdish (Kurmanji) by Shook & Zêdan Xelef
Beyond the Headlines: Poetry from Rojava
By Shook
These poems display the health and vitality of a literature that has already proved to be a potent medium for self-expression, a grounds for linguistic experimentation, and an important declaration of autonomy itself.
[I needed to wake up at 3:00 in the morning to make it to work]
By Ciwan Qado
I proceeded with caution / Like a marble inching toward the line
Translated from Kurdish (Kurmanji) by Shook & Zêdan Xelef
[I speak to]
By Cihan Hesen
silence sullen-faced fate reaches my ears
Translated from Kurdish (Kurmanji) by Shook & Zêdan Xelef
By Kim Thuy
The realities of life in Indochina had nothing in common with those of France.
Translated from French by Sheila Fischman
All the Streets of the City
By Behçet Çelik
“From here on out it’s rooftop to rooftop, hocam.”
Translated from Turkish by Abby Comstock-Gay
The Terrorist Upstairs
By Emrah Serbes
I’m twelve years old, I won’t have to do a lot of time, I’ll be out before you know it.
Translated from Turkish by Abigail Bowman
“It’s Us and Them”: Writing from and about Divided Countries
By Susan Harris
In the current environment of relentless political strife . . . debate deteriorates into name-calling; partisans morph into zealots, complex issues are reduced to binary terms, and hostility seethes just beneath the surface.
A Doctor from Homs
By Wendy Pearlman
Most massacres occurred after Friday prayers.
Crime in Ramallah: Noor’s Story
By Abbad Yahya
There were a lot of weapons being brandished, a lot of threats being shouted, and there was a lot of waiting around. The intifada uprising shifted from the streets onto the TV.
Translated from Arabic by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp
Ali Muhsin Market
By Nadia Al-Kokabany
He tossed and turned in his bed, trying to wrest those hours from his memory.
Translated from Arabic by Thoraya El-Rayyes
Losing Ground
By Zoran Janjanin
“It wasn’t a civil war. It was a rebellion.”
Translated from Croatian by Ellen Elias-Bursać
How Dorje Tsering Saved Tibetan
By Pema Bhum
Everyone knew that the way to become a revolutionary was through the Chinese language and not Tibetan.
Translated from Tibetan by Tenzin Dickie
from Abadaringi
By Jeroen Janssen
Those are things you mustn't ask questions about. Some people get sad.
Translated by Michele Hutchison
The Collapse of a Cellar
By Nawzat Shamdeen
“They shoot them right outside their front door and then send their folks a bill for the bullets.”
Translated from Arabic by Alice Guthrie
Fifteen Days
By Claudia Hernández
They'd take the girls to the hills for three or five days.
Translated from Spanish by Julia Sanches
The Angels Who Wiped My Fate Clean
By Kemal Varol
I was bound. I was a registered piece of inventory. I was a liability. I wasn’t going anywhere.
Translated from Turkish by Dayla Rogers
Women, Writing War
By Eliza Griswold
It’s a dubious privilege that a woman can tell war stories as brutal and devastating as a man can.
The Scream
By Claudia Salazar Jiménez
The Party. The Revolution. Blood. All of it, together.
Translated from Spanish by Elizabeth Bryer
Tito and Taxidermy, or What If Tito Had Been on Twitter?
By Ajla Terzić
The human factor is not essential. Sunscreen—now that's essential.
Translated from Bosnian by John K. Cox
The Seed of Evil: Sarajevo 1995
By Sonia Ristic
You don’t become a war correspondent by accident or by chance.
Translated from French by Paul Romano
From “What are the Blind Men Dreaming?”
By Noemi Jaffe
The compassionate understand pain, but pain cannot be understood; those who suffer understand nothing.
Translated from Portuguese and Serbian by Julia Sanches & Ellen Elias-Bursać
The True Story of “Faccetta Nera”
By Igiaba Scego
A black woman, in the regime’s view, simply could not be an Italian.
Translated from Italian by Antony Shugaar
From “Raking Light from Ashes”
By Relli Robinson
Now you’ll be our daughter a little bit too.
Translated from Hebrew by Yardenne Greenspan
Crow, Wheels
By Lyuba Yakimchuk
Joyful relatives poured vodka for themselves / and for the dead
Translated from Ukrainian by Oksana Maksymchuk and Max Rosochinsky
[The whole soldier doesn’t suffer]
By Lyudmyla Khersonska
The whole soldier shrugs off hurt.
Translated from Russian by Katherine E. Young
Curfew . . .
By Rocio Tábora
But the evil blanketed her room and she agonized without remedy.
Translated from Spanish by Gabriel Saxton-Ruiz
Mass Grave
By Faleeha Hassan
Our hands could not grip anything as long as their hands gripped our lives.
Translated from Arabic by William Maynard Hutchins
The Art of Expressing One’s Agony: An Interview with M. Raouf Bachir
By Alice Guthrie
In short, the ongoing war in Syria is not a revolution.
By Manal Al-Sheikh
One day there will be no men
Translated from Arabic by Angham A. Abdullah
On Packing
By Herta Müller
I carried everything I had. It wasn't actually mine.
Translated from German by Donal McLaughlin
A Bullet Fired into the Night
By Ngo Tu Lap
No one knows he used to be a man
Translated from Vietnamese by Martha Collins & Ngo Tu Lap
Photo of the Oudezijds Kolk canal in Amsterdam
Bert Kaufmann from Roermond, Netherlands, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
from The Ministry of Pain
By Dubravka Ugrešic
Instead of talking, they seem to be patting each other with words, spreading a soothing, sonorous saliva over one another.
Translated from Croatian by Michael Henry Heim
I Pity the Garden
By Forugh Farrokhzad
The schoolchildren fill their backpacks / with tiny bombs.
Translated from Persian by Sholeh Wolpé