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Introducing WWB’s Education Fellow, Allison Tim
By Words Without Borders
We're pleased to welcome Allison Tim as the first-ever WWB education fellow. Allison is a writer, photographer, and budding filmmaker. After graduating from Macalester College with…
Soleil Davíd
Introducing WWB’s Editorial Fellow, Soleil Davíd
By Words Without Borders
I see translation as a way for me to engage with one facet of my country’s literature, a hopefully productive excuse to read works in Tagalog and Bikol.
The Literary Life of K-pop Lyrics
By Sang Young Park
I’d accumulated what is surely the biggest collection of gem-like K-pop lyrics in the world.
Translated by Anton Hur
This Language Called Kaaps: An Introduction
By Olivia M. Coetzee
Language is more than just a method of communication. It is about the ability to lay down roots, to settle into an identity, to have a place in history, in the present, and in the future. Language is…
Introducing WWB’s New Books Editor, Adam Dalva
By Words Without Borders
We’re pleased to welcome Adam Dalva as the new books editor of Words Without Borders.Adam’s writing has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, and the Paris…
The Voices of Contact Languages in Asia: An Introduction
By Stefanie Shamila Pillai
For multilingual writers, choosing to write in their heritage languages can be seen as an expression of agency, an active choice to communicate in a nondominant language.
Photo of a newspaper being printed
Photo by Bank Phrom on Unsplash
Juan Gabriel Vásquez: Fiction as the News
By Juan Gabriel Vásquez
Like most Colombians, I had several close encounters with “chaos” during those years.
“The Age of Kishore”: Jeff Deutsch Celebrates Seagull Books Founder and Publisher Naveen Kishore
By Jeff Deutsch
Last night, Naveen Kishore, the founder and publisher of Seagull Books, received the 2021 Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature. At the celebratory cocktail reception in New…
The Winners of the 2021 Words Without Borders—Academy of American Poets Poems in Translation Contest
By Words Without Borders
This prize-winning translation haunts.
PEN International Celebrates 100 Years
By Joanne Leedom-Ackerman
PEN members today not only gather for literary events in their home countries and internationally but also defend writers and the freedom to write worldwide.
Announcing the Winners of the 2021 Poems in Translation Contest
By Words Without Borders
As a pandemic defined by isolation stretches ever onward, our third Poems in Translation Contest brought together 606 poems from 327 poets and 79 countries, translated from 61 languages. We are thrilled…
The Slow Burn of Inner Chaos: Six Works in Translation from Malaysia
By Pauline Fan & Adriana Nordin Manan
The sense of slipping slowly into chaos is an everyday reality here.
Naveen Kishore, Renowned Publisher of Seagull Books, to Receive 2021 Ottaway Award
By Words Without Borders
We are pleased to announce that Naveen Kishore, publisher and founder of Seagull Books in Kolkata, will receive the 2021 Words Without Borders Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature.“In…
Introducing WWB’s Digital Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Bruna Dantas Lobato
By Words Without Borders
We’re pleased to welcome Bruna Dantas Lobato as WWB’s digital marketing and communications coordinator. Bruna is a Brazilian writer and literary translator whose writing has…
“A Scream That Can No Longer Be Held In”: Translating Rahma Nur’s “Linguistic Threads”
By Candice Whitney, Alta L. Price & Barbara Ofosu-Somuah
Linguistic threads. IV lines and blood cells. Oppressive silencing. There is a viscerality that emerges when sitting with Rahma Nur’s poem “Fili Linguistici.” In describing her experience as…
Afro-Italian Women in Translation: An Introduction
By Candice Whitney, Barbara Ofosu-Somuah, Aaron Robertson, Hope Campbell Gustafson
What is national literature and how is it defined? Often, when one thinks of a particular nation or language, they imagine a specific phenotype tied to a historical narrative. A cursory Google search…
An empty playground with a merry go round
Photo by Loegunn Lai on Unsplash
My Home Is Where I Am
By Igiaba Scego
Somali-Italian writer Igiaba Scego recalls her childhood experiences in the Italian educational system in this memoir.
Translated from Italian by Aaron Robertson
We Cried a River of Laughter
By Marie Moïse
Writer Marie Moïse describes her search for her roots and traces her family’s history of cross-Atlantic displacement.I spent my youth seeking to recover my roots, which were severed by migration…
Translated from Italian by Barbara Ofosu-Somuah
Who Translates?
By Words Without Borders
In the wake of 2020’s racist violence, and subsequent organizing by the Black Lives Matter movement and others to combat white supremacy, literary magazines and publishers everywhere have, to differing…
The Great White Canceling
By Anton Hur
Translator Anton Hur takes a wry look at race and translation in this essay.You’re a white translator. I come into your home office and break your computer. I run a bath and drown all your…
Privilege, Race, and Translation
By Corine Tachtiris
Scholar and translator Corine Tachtiris reflects on the inherent privilege of translating while White in this essay.And if there are few Black translators, there are few representatives of the possibility…
Barriers, Privileges, and Invisible Labor: A Sino Diaspora Translator’s Perspective
By Yilin Wang
Translator Yilin Wang addresses various forms of bias in translation from Asian Languages in this essay.“You must teach yourself how to carry loan words,tiny seeds gift-wrapped like hand-me-down heirlooms…
Reckonings: The Queer Issue XII
By Susan Harris
This year we celebrate Pride Month with seven pieces depicting Queer characters confronting decisive moments.
A dark door cracked open to reveal bright red light
Photo by Dima Pechurin on Unsplash
Yun-Fan: Singing the Variety of Queer Life
By Wanning Chen
When I was twenty-three, I met my first girlfriend, who then went off with a man after just four months—and eventually married him.
Translated from Chinese by Jeremy Tiang
Movement and Stasis
By July Blalack
Mauritanian literature foregrounds characters on the move.
Double portrait of writer Jhumpa Lahiri
Where I Find Myself
By Jhumpa Lahiri
I have come to think of any “definitive text” largely the same way that I think of a mother tongue, at least in my case: an inherently debatable, perpetually relative concept.
The Thrill of Reading Obliviously
By J. R. Ramakrishnan
A translated work’s pitch is aided by comparisons.
The Comparison Game
By Laurence Laluyaux
This game of comparisons, while not always accurate, can open doors and be thought-provoking.
Why Must Two Works be Compared at All?
By Saudamini Deo
Why must two works be compared at all?
The Incomparable Ones
By Juan Milà
It is essential that we understand comps and are aware of their limitations.
On the Periphery
By Larissa Kyzer
The scope of the topics explored in this issue is, therefore, necessarily broad without being comprehensive.
Words Without Borders Campus Launches Iranian Literature Resource
New York City, New York, March 23, 2021—WWB Campus, the online education program of Words Without Borders, announced today the launch of a new unit of literature from Iran.“Read Iran”…
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,…
History Interrupted: Georgia’s Broken Thread
By Maya Jaggi
Geography has been destiny for Georgia and its literature.
Words Without Borders Announces 2021 Poems in Translation Contest
Airea D. Matthews to JudgeWinning Poems to Be Published in Poem-a-Day and WWB We’re pleased to announce the 2021 WWB Poems in Translation Contest spotlighting groundbreaking work by poets and…
Words Without Borders Receives 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Grant
New York, New York, February 4, 2021—The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has just announced that it will distribute more than $25 million in support of 1,073 arts and cultural organizations…
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.
How Can We Better Publish Black Writers in Translation?
By Words Without Borders
This month, WWB took a look back at some of the important writing on race and racism to be found in the magazine's archives.
Publishers Need More Black Translator Friends
By Aaron Robertson
There are obstacles translators must face before the international sections of bookstores reflect the world more equitably.
Respecting the Diversity of Creativity
By Évelyne Trouillot
It would be naive to speak of editorial decisions without taking into account power relationships and established patterns of prejudice that undergird the publishing industry.
Translated from French by Paul Curtis Daw
Developing a Publishing Infrastructure in Mozambique
By Sandra Tamele
Running a start-up publisher in Mozambique is challenging, particularly because sales are low due to a nonexistent distribution network and too few bookshops, all located in the capital city.
Celebrating Kazi Nazrul Islam, Rebel Poet of Bengal
By Liesl Schwabe
Much of the radical heart of Nazrul’s larger oeuvre, including his work as a freedom fighter, has been overlooked.
Global Blackness: Black Writers in Translation
By Eric M. B. Becker
Engaging the evolving dialogue that broadens definitions of global Blackness.
Tara Parsons Joins WWB Board of Directors
By Words Without Borders
Words Without Borders is pleased to announce the election of Tara Parsons, Associate Publisher of the HarperOne Group, to its Board of Directors. “Tara's expertise and leadership in…
New Voices: Afghan Women Writers
By Lucy Hannah
A nation’s upheaval cannot be understood without women's perspectives.
Aperture: Sudanese Female Novelists Coming into Focus
By Sawad Hussain
Is there some sort of double marginalization at play?
Introducing WWB’s Assistant Editor and Development Associate, Nina Perrotta
By Words Without Borders
We’re pleased to welcome Nina Perrotta as WWB’s assistant editor and development associate. Nina is a writer, editor, and translator from Spanish and Portuguese. Prior to joining WWB, she…
Toward Our Common Destruction: Humans and the Environment
By Eric M. B. Becker
The protagonist of this month’s work is the natural world in its multitudes.
Introducing WWB’s Editorial Fellow, Varun Nayar
By Words Without Borders
We’re pleased to welcome Varun Nayar as a WWB editorial fellow. Varun is a writer, editor, and researcher from Delhi, India. He was most recently the nonfiction editor of Asymptote, and…
Climates: On Environment
By Susan Harris
Global warming manifests in obvious ways.
Farewell to the White Giants
By Andri Snær Magnason
Chaos is not confined to the glacier’s edge.
Translated from Icelandic by Lytton Smith
Climate Fiction for Climate Action
By Amy Brady
No single means of communication can be solely effective, because climate change is such a “wicked” problem—it is truly planetary in scale.
A Japanese Lesson
By Silvana Paternostro
When do the provocative girlie girls turn into discreet wives who put on conservative dresses?
A Note from Contest Judge David Tomas Martinez
It was an Hunahpúan effort to choose only four poems from this extraordinarily strong pool of poems.
A Slice of Writing by Nikkei and Tusán Peruvian Writers
By Jennifer Shyue
Some of them have often called upon their Chinese or Japanese roots; others have alighted upon the topic only a few times, if at all.
Life Is a Pose
By Julio Villanueva Chang
In his spare time, he wears clothes.
Translated from Spanish by Nicolás Medina Mora
Announcing the Winners of the 2020 Poems in Translation Contest
By Words Without Borders
In the midst of a pandemic defined by isolation, our second Poems in Translation Contest brought together 935 poems from 448 poets and 87 countries, translated from 58 languages. We are thrilled to announce,…
White City Blues in Arequipa
By Maya Jaggi
The colonial system is still alive in Peru.
Ñe’ ẽ: An Introduction to Contemporary Guaraní Poetry
By Elisa Taber
A real work of Amerindian literature makes perceptible another way of ordering and being in the world.
A Persian New Year Beginning with COVID-19
By Poupeh Missaghi
With the news coming out of Iran, I was already beginning to feel the weight of the ongoing disaster in my body.