Helene Cardona

California, United States

Member Since: 10/18/2005

Hélène Cardona is a poet, literary translator and actor, the recipient of numerous awards and honors including a Hemingway Grant and the 2017 International and Best Book Awards. Her books include three poetry collections, most recently Life in Suspension and Dreaming My Animal Selves (both from Salmon Poetry); and four translations: 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 15 languages.

She co-edits PlumeFulcrum: An Anthology of Poetry and AestheticsLevure Littéraire, contributes essays to The London Magazine, and is co-producer of the documentary Pablo Neruda: The People's Poet

She holds a master’s in American Literature from the Sorbonne, taught at Hamilton College and Loyola Marymount University, and received fellowships from the Goethe-Institut & Universidad Internacional de Andalucía.

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

Publications include AsymptoteWashington Square Review, World Literature Today, Poetry International, The Brooklyn Rail's InTranslation, Drunken Boat, Dublin Review of Books, Hayden's Ferry Review, The Warwick Review, Irish Literary Times, The Los Angeles Review, The American Journal of Poetry, TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics and elsewhere.

She volunteered as a mentor for AWP's Writer-to-Writer program.

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

Hélène has served as a judge for the 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

Acting credits include Chocolat, 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


  • 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)


  • Birnam Wood: Readers’ Favorite Award Gold Medal in Poetry winner(2019)
  • Birnam Wood: Pinnacle Book Award winner(2019)
  • Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist(2019)
  • Birnam Wood: Suk Award winner(2019)
  • 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


  • 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