Helene Cardona

California, United States

Member Since: 10/18/2005

Hélène Cardona is a poet, literary translator and actor, the recipient of over 20 awards and honors including a Hemingway Grant, an Albertine and FACE Foundation grant, the Naji Naaman Literary Prize, and the Independent Press Award. Her books include three poetry collections, most recently Life in Suspension and Dreaming My Animal Selves (both from Salmon Poetry); and five translations: The Abduction (Maram Al-Masri, White Pine Press),  Birnam Wood (José Manuel Cardona, Salmon Poetry), Beyond Elsewhere (Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, White Pine Press), Ce que nous portons (Dorianne Laux, Éditions du Cygne), and Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings for WhitmanWeb.

A Romanian translation of Dreaming My Animal Selves was published by Junimea Editions in 2016. Hélène's work has been translated into 16 languages. 

She has also translated Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Aloysius Bertrand, Christiane Singer, Eric Sarner, René Depestre, Ernest Pépin, Jean-Claude Renard, Jacques Crickillon, Lea Nagy, and Nicolas Grenier into English, and John Ashbery, John FitzGerald, Sholeh Wolpé, and the Lawrence Bridges film Muse of Fire into French.

She holds an MA in American Literature from the Sorbonne, taught at Hamilton College, Loyola Marymount University, and the Tenth Gathering of Poets, and received fellowships from the Goethe-Institut and the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía.

She also writes children stories and co-wrote with John FitzGerald the screenplay Primate, based on his novel.

Publications include Asymptote, AGNIWashington Square Review, World Literature Today, Poetry International, The Brooklyn Rail, The London Magazine, Dublin Review of Books, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Warwick Review, Irish Literary Times, Colorado Review, Los Angeles Review, Waxwing, The American Journal of Poetry, Plume, TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics and elsewhere.

Hélène served as a mentor for AWP's Writer-to-Writer program and for children in the schools in Los Angeles.

She has served as a judge for the 2022 ALTA Translation Award in Poetry, 2017 Jacar Press Full Length Competition, the 2016 PEN Center USA Translation Award, the 2015 Writer's Digest Challenge, and the 2014 Rabindranath Tagore Award.

She is Contributing Editor to Cervena Barva Press, Chief Media Advisor for Envision Earth Media, Editorial Advisor for Envision Earth Magazine, and English Language Cultural Editor of Levure Littéraire, and former co-editor at Plume and Dublin Poetry Review. 

Acting credits include Chocolat, John Wick: Chapter 4, Ford V. Ferrari, Star Trek: Discovery, Jurassic World, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Muppets Most Wanted, X-Men Days of Future Past, Happy Feet 2Mumford & more. For Serendipity she co-wrote with director Peter Chelsom and composer Alan Silvestri the song Lucienne, which she also sang.

Born in Paris and raised all over Europe, she has lived in Switzerland, France, England, Wales, Monaco, Germany, Spain, and the United States. She is based in Santa Monica, CA.





Website: http://helenecardona.com

Twitter Username: @helenecardona


  • The Abduction , White Pine Press (April 4, 2023)
  • Birnam Wood / El Bosque de Birnam , Salmon Poetry (November 22, 2018)
  • Walt Whitman: Civil War Writings (French) , International Writing Program at the University of Iowa (July 2016)
  • Life in Suspension , Salmon Poetry (June 6, 2016)
  • Beyond Elsewhere , White Pine Press (May 30, 2016)
  • Visul sufltetelor mele animale , Junimea Editions (April 2016)
  • Dreaming My Animal Selves , Salmon Poetry (April 30, 2013)
  • Ce que nous portons , Editions du Cygne (September 17, 2014)
  • The Astonished Universe , Red Hen Press (October 6, 2006)


  • Albertine and FACE Foundation Grant(2023)
  • Birnam Wood: NYC Big Book Award(2022)
  • Birnam Wood: Independent Press Award(2022)
  • iWoman Global Award in Literature(2020)
  • Life in Suspension: NYC Big Book Award Distinguished Favorite(2020)
  • Life in Suspension: Independent Press Award in Poetry(2020)
  • Birnam Wood: Best Book Award in Poetry(2019)
  • Naji Naaman Literary Prize(2019)
  • Birnam Wood: Pinnacle Book Award Winner(2019)
  • Birnam Wood: Readers’ Favorite Award Gold Medal in Poetry winner(2019)
  • Birnam Wood: Suk Award Winner(2019)
  • Birnam Wood: International Poetry Book Award Finalist(2019)
  • Birnam Wood: Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist(2019)
  • Birnam Wood: Best Translation, Washington Independent Review of Books(2018)
  • Birnam Wood: World Literature Today 2018 Notable Translation(2018)
  • Life in Suspension: Finalist for the 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Award(2018)
  • Life in Suspension: 2017 Best Book Award in Poetry(2017)
  • Life in Suspension: International Book Award in Poetry(2017)
  • Life in Suspension: 2016 Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry Finalist(2017)
  • Life in Suspension: Julie Suk Award Finalist(2017)
  • Life in Suspension: Pinnacle Book Award for Best Bilingual Poetry Book (2016)
  • Life in Suspension: Readers' Favorite Book Award in Poetry (2016)
  • Beyond Elsewhere: Hemingway Grant(2015)
  • Dreaming My Animal Selves: USA Best Book Award in Poetry(2015)
  • Dreaming My Animal Selves: Readers' Favorite Book Award in Poetry (2014)
  • Dreaming My Animal Selves: Julie Suk Award, Finalist (2014)
  • Dreaming My Animal Selves: Pinnacle Book Award for Best Bilingual Poetry Book (2013)
  • Dreaming My Animal Selves: International Book Award in Poetry, Finalist (2015)
  • Poiesis Award of Honour (2014)
  • Dreaming My Animal Selves was included in The London Magazine‘s alternative poetry list for 2015 and in the Poetry Foundation’s Reading List: September 2015 (selected by Thomas McCarthy).(2015)
  • Multiple-time Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net Nominee


  • Assistant Professor at Hamilton College
  • Instructor at Loyola Marymount University
  • Teacher at Ecole Active Bilingue
  • Translator at The Canadian Embassy, Paris
  • Translator at NEA
  • Freelance/indepentant Literary Translator
  • Poet and Writer
  • Actor


  • Master of Arts in English and American Literature from The Sorbonne University
  • Bachelor of Arts in English from The Sorbonne University
  • Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from The Sorbonne University
  • Certificate in German Philology and Literature from Goethe Institut
  • Certificate in Spanish Literature and Philology from Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo
  • Certificate in Spanish Literature and Philology from Universidad Internacional de Andalucía
  • Certificate in Translation from the Royal Society of Arts, Cambridge, Translation Diploma

Genres of Interest

Fiction, Creative nonfiction, Playwriting, Screenwriting, Children's literature , Poetry