S196. The Glories of Impossible Translations: International Perspectives on Creative Process

Room 23, Tampa Convention Center, First Floor
Saturday, March 10, 2018
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Is it cliché to say that translation is impossible? Can one ever truly translate the likes of Sappho, Lorca, or Baudelaire with their sophistication, cleverness, and verbal music? Working with Brazilian Portuguese, Chinese, Hebrew, Greek, French, Spanish, and Turkish, this panel’s poets, translators, and scholars discuss their roles as intermediaries, technicians, and alchemists dancing between languages to create inspired texts spanning cultural differences, geographic distances, and time.



Hélène Cardona’s third bilingual collection is Life in Suspension. Her four translations include Hemingway Grant–winner Beyond Elsewhere. She is a Goethe-Institut and Andalucía University Fellow. She coedits Plume, Fulcrum, and Levure Littéraire, and contributes essays to The London Magazine.

Sidney Wade’s seventh collection of poems, Bird Book, will be published by Atelier26 in the fall of 2017. She has served as president of AWP and secretary/treasurer of ALTA. She is Professor Emerita at the University of Florida.

Hilary Kaplan is the translator of Rilke Shake by Angélica Freitas, which won the 2016 Best Translated Book Award and the National Translation Award in poetry. She also translated The Territory Is Not the Map, by Marília Garcia, and Ghosts, a collection of stories by Paloma Vidal.

Willis Barnstone is a professor of comparative literature at Indiana and has received a Guggenheim, and four Book-of-the-Months. His books include Poetics of Translation, Gnostic Bible, Poems of Antonio Machado, Secret Reader: 501 Sonnets, Stickball on 88th St, Moonbook & Sunbook, Mexico in My Heart: Selected, and Poets of the Bible: Song of Songs to Revelation.

Christopher Merrill has published many books of poetry, translations, and nonfiction, most recently, Boat, Necessities, The Tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War, and Self-Portrait with Dogwood. He directs the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center