Tag Archives: Translations

Issue 5.3 Fall 2016

Click on a title to read an author’s work(s) and bio. Let us know what you think on our Facebook page and on Twitter using #BlueLyra. Also, consider leaving a comment for everyone to read.

"Waiting" by Brett Amory
“Waiting” by Brett Amory 

"Folly" by Brett Amory
“Folly” by Brett Amory

"Block Drugs Waiting" by Brett Amory
“Block Drugs Waiting” by Brett Amory

Nonfiction:

Bruce Black | The End of Shloshim
Chauna Craig | A Glittering of Hummingbirds, a Charm
Heather Durham | Earth to Earth
Margot Anne Kelley | Living While Large
Jen Soriano | Making the Tongue Dry
Clinton Peters | Sailing the Iowa Sea 

Translations:

Anastasia Afanasieva | She Speaks | “I Used to Like…” | **Olga Livshin and Andrew Janco
Marat Baskin | The Mad Trumpet Player’s Wife | **Nina Kossman
Eduardo Milán | Undress Your Language | **John Oliver Simon
Elhanan Nir | This Winter | **Ross Weissman

Book Review:

Raymond Wong | I’m Not Chinese | Review by Charse Yun

Spotlight on a Press:

Broadstone Books | Review by Nettie Farris

 

**Indicates Translators 

Issue 5.2 Summer 2016

Click on a title to read an author’s work(s) and bio. Let us know what you think on our Facebook page and on Twitter using #BlueLyra. Also, consider leaving a comment for everyone to read.

"Try All Balloons" by Sue Clancy
“Try All Balloons” by Sue Clancy

"Suddenly my Hair was Performance" by Sydney Tayler Colbert.
“Suddenly my Hair was Performance” by Sydney Tayler Colbert.

“Love Offers the World” by Sue Clancy

Poetry:
(Guest Edited by Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz)

M. L. Brown | When Girls Swim
Alexis Groulx | An afternoon with Cal
Rage Hezekiah | February Cove
Gopika Jadeja | Newsprint in the dark
Les Kay | Reprise, Nachtmusik
Barbara Krasner | Bei Mir Bistu Shayn

Laurie Macfee | Bone Music
Elisabeth Murawski | Never from Here
Leonard Neufeldt | Letters from the Ghetto
Valery V. Petrovskiy | On a town street
James Prenatt | Can I, may I?
Wesley Riggs | Even If

Beate Sigriddaughter | Bricks
Joseph Somoza | Natural Poetry
Jamie Wendt | When Amma had Four More Months

Fiction:

Beth Sherman | Between
Meg Tuite | Hollow Gestures 

Nonfiction:

Terry Barr | When the Truth Is Found
Stacy Lawson | It’s Just Sex
Kelsey Lahr | Coyote Nights
Zach Marson | They Knew the Land Was Beautiful 

Translations:

René Agostini | Walking along the Rhone | **June Sylvester Saraceno
Anna Akhmatova | After 23 Years | **Don Mager
Shatha Abu Hnaish | Alienation | **Francesca Bell & Noor Nader Al Abed
Jóanes Nielsen | Burnt Out Light | **Matthew Landrum
Rasool Yoonan | Fire and Human | Try | **Siavash Saadlou

Book Reviews:

Fabienne Josaphat | Dancing in the Baron’s Shadow | Review by Kelsey May
Lucia Cherciu | Edible Flowers | Review by Donelle Dreese

Spotlight on a Press:

Glass Lyre Press | Review by Nettie Farris


**Indicates Translators 

Issue 5.1 Spring 2016

Click on a title to read an author’s work(s) and bio. Let us know what you think on our Facebook page and on Twitter using #BlueLyra. Also, consider leaving a comment for everyone to read.

"The Man Who Fell to Earth" by Carla Ciuffo
“The Man Who Fell to Earth” by Carla Ciuffo

The Artist At Work by Carla Ciuffo
The Artist At Work by Carla Ciuffo

"Pandoras Jar" by Carla Ciuffo
“Pandoras Jar” by Carla Ciuffo

Poetry: (Guest Edited by Cynthia Schwartzberg Edlow)

Matthew James Babcock | The Fall Olympics | Sexual Limbo
Roy Bentley | Sugar Ray Robinson Leaning against His 1950 Pink Cadillac
Lynn Marie Houston | Jealousy | With Love to California, Now that I No Longer Live There
Lynn Levin | Spending Small Change | On Knowing One’s Goblet at the Banquet Table
Hillary Kobernick | Springing
Patrick McCarthy | Suspicion
Kendall Pakula | The Good Guest
Erin Redfern | Graduate School
Rakhshan Rizwan | Partition
stephanie roberts | People Believing Badly
Gerard Sarnat | 67% Hopperized Bathos

Fiction:

Michelle Elvy | Black and White and Grey
Mercedes Lawry | Sooner or Later
Heather Dewar | ID 

Nonfiction:

Susan Bloch | The Mumbai Massacre
Lisbeth Davidow | You Have to Get over the Color Green
Steven Wineman | Tear-Water Tea

Translations:

Ivonne Gordon Carrera | Tiger | **Cindy Rinne
Cesarco Eglin | Connotations | **Scott Spanbauer
Pablo Neruda | Past | **Domenic James Scopa

Book Reviews:

Paul David Adkins | Stick Up | Review by A.J. Huffman
Margaret Lazarus Dean | Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight | Review by Carla Sarett
Matthew Lippman | Salami Jew | Review by Neil Silberblatt

Spotlight on a Press:

Two of Cups Press | Review by Nettie Farris

**Indicates Translators

Issue 4.3 Fall 2015

Click on a title to read an author’s work(s) and bio. Let us know what you think on our Facebook page and on Twitter using #BlueLyra. Also, consider leaving a comment for everyone to read.

"Bus in Pieces" by Dean West
“Bus in Pieces” by Dean West

"Ballerina Legs" by Caroline Allen
“Ballerina Legs” by Caroline Allen

"Blue on Green" by Kellie Talbot
“Blue on Green” by Kellie Talbot

Poetry: (Guest Edited by W.F. Lantry )

Gail C. DiMaggio | Girls in Pictures
Rosie Prohías Driscoll | Colando Café
Jeff Hardin | A Short Distance from Mountains
Ed Shacklee | Elephant Ear Plant
Mary Ann Sullivan | St. Catherine of Siena
Tammy Ho Lai-Ming | The Space Between The Rain
Lonnie Monka | my mistake
Ashley Parker Owens | Itch
Sophia Pandeya | Mona Lisa Postcard
Jane Wayne | His Shirt

Fiction:

Neil Carpathios | The Man with No Future
Katie Cortese | Quitting Time
Sherrie Flick | Now
Philip Kobylarz | What’s On The Other Side Of Doors 

Nonfiction:

Melissa Grunow | White Spirit
Rick Kempa | Honing the Edge
Sandell Morse | The Crossing

Translations:

Kurt Drawert | Personal Pronoun | **Paul-Henri Campbell
Louise Dupré | Stone Hands of the Tomb Figures | **Karen McPherson
Gili Haimovich | Signing a Place | What Lights Up the Sky | **Dara Barnat
Moyshe Kulbak | from Songs of a Poor Man | **Allison Davis

 

Book Reviews:

Sue Eisenfeld | Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal | Review by Donna M. Crow
Jeff Klima | L.A. Rotten | Review by Ginger Beck
Sandra Marchetti | Confluence | Review by Danielle Susi

 

**Indicates Translators

Issue 4.2 Summer 2015

Click on a title to read an author’s work(s) and bio. Let us know what you think on our Facebook page and on Twitter using #BlueLyra. Also, consider leaving a comment for everyone to read.

Alexis Rhone Fancher. Man on the Metro Downtown L.A. 2013
“Man on the Metro, Downtown LA” by Alexis Rhone Fancher

"Old Man Walking After Midnight, Downtown L.A" by Alexis Rhone Fancher.
“Old Man Walking After Midnight, Downtown LA” by Alexis Rhone Fancher

Sandra Meek. Portrait Pisac Peru
“Portrait Pisac, Peru” by Sandra Meek

Poetry: (Guest Edited by Jason Koo)

Madeleine Barnes | In Harmonium
Emily Blair | The Deadly Years
J. Scott Brownlee | Ascension
Falconhead | I Have Set My Face Like Flint or The Misanthrope Goes Into Town
Peter Cole Friedman | The Perfect Phospholipids
Julie Hart | Resting Bitch Face
Tim Kahl | Tasking the Guardian
Christine Kitano | Lesson: Chicken Soup
Debora Kuan| Teen Ghost
Justin Maki | Watch
Derek Mong | An Ordinary Evening in San Francisco
Laura Plaster | Candids
Erin Redfern | Photograph of a Drugged Giraffe
Chris Roberts | What ever happened to the compass?
Sokunthary Svay | At Least Prostitutes Bring Home Money
Ed Toney | The Baptist Growl

Fiction:

Rahad Abir | Johnson Road
Ashley Cowger | Public Access
Emily Kiernan | Enola Gay
Charlie Sterchi | The Running Dog
 

Nonfiction: (Guest Edited by Suzanne Cope)

Robert Boucheron | Snowmelt
Ruth Z. Deming | We Look Out Windows
Sarah Pascarella | Swimming Lessons
Laura Rankin | Natural Neighbors


Translations:

Guillaume Apollinaire | Sadness of a Star | **Rebekah Curry
Javier Etchevarren | Lungs | **Don Bogen
Agustín Lucas | General Flores without Flowers | **Jesse Lee
Kercheval
Dimitra Kotoula | Case Study V (on Ethics) | **Maria Nazos 


Book Reviews:

Lowell Levant | A Poet Drives a Truck: Poems by and about Lowell A. Levant | review by Thomas Dukes
Michele Battiste | Uprising | review by Kayla Haas

**Indicates Translators

Issue 4.1 Spring 2015

Click on a title to read an author’s work(s) and bio. Let us know what you think on our Facebook page and on Twitter using #BlueLyra. Also, consider leaving a comment for everyone to read.

"Station 14" Art by Jean Wolfe

“Station 14” Art by Jean Wolff

"Books and Dreams" Art by Jean Wolfe
“Books and Dreams”          Art by Jean Wolff

 

Poetry:
(Guest Edited by Judy Juanita)

Eugene H. Davis | Howl No More
Arika Elizenberry | Red Summer, 1919
Bridget Gage-Dixon | Hew Paints Crickets
Gail Goepfert | Revivify *runner up in our 2014 short-ish poetry contest*
Karen Greenbaum-Maya | My Uncle the Perfectionist
Kamden Hilliard | Hong Kong, Summer
Lowell Jaeger | A Salesman’s Song
David Kann | The Language of the Farm *runner up in our 2014 long-ish poetry contest*
Issa M. Lewis | The Catacomb Saints
Joel Lewis | Looking For Soup
Noorulain Noor | Chronology of Evil Eye
Jennifer Raha | Perennial | Resupination
Maryann Russo | Joe Redota Trail
Eva Schlesinger | With You in Hildesheim
Benjamin Schmitt | We were radicals
Bonnie Wai-Lee Kwong | Mother | A Day in British Hong Kong

Fiction:

Gordon Ball | The Breaking *runner up in our 2014 flash fiction contest
Marie Mayhugh | An Old Cowboy’s Dirge
Eliana Osborn | Turning Japanese

Nonfiction:

Caroline Allen | Little Woman
Sharon Goldberg | Let Us (Not) Pray
Grace Mattern | Granite
Lisa Romeo | Not Quite Meet-Cute

Translations:

Charles Baudelaire | The Clock | **Lola Haskins
Cyrille Fleischman | Monsieur Lekouved’s Revolt | **Lynn Palermo
Imanova Günel | Untitled | **Arturo Desimone
Marcel Lecomte | The Schoolmaster | Number | **K. A. Wisniewski

Book Reviews:

Robert Cooperman | Just Drive | review by Barry Marks
Justin Hamm | Lessons in Ruins | review by Karen J Weyant
Jamaal May | Hum | review by Susan Cohen

**Indicates Translators

"Sphene" Art by Jean Wolfe
“Sphere” Art by Jean Wolff

 

FlipBook

“Flipbook” Art by Jean Wolff

Issue 3.6 Fall 2014

Theme Issue: Far From The Maddening Crowd

Click on a title to read an author’s work(s) and bio. Let us know what you think on our Facebook page and on Twitter using #BlueLyra. Also, consider leaving a comment for everyone to read.

Schoolbus
“Schoolbus” Art by Holly Burnside

Seattle 2
“Seattle 2” Art by Angel Lacanfora

Cases
“Cases” Art by Angel Lacanfora

Nonfiction:

Marlena Maduro Baraf | La Misa
Therése Halscheid | Into the Iceberg
Anne Liu Kellor | Sky Burial
Linda Saslow | The Shiksa Sisterhood

Translations:

Rivka Basman Ben-Haim | Doves Speak Yiddish | **Zelda Kahan Newman
Yves Bonnefoy | He Is Leaving | **Susanna Lang
Hafez | Ghazal 6 | **Roger Sedarat
Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi | Untitled | **Roger Sedarat
Avrom Sutzkever | From Diary Poems | **Zackary Sholem Berger
Carmen Vascones | How lonely love remains | **Alexis Levitin

Book Reviews:

Helène Aylon | Whatever is Contained Must be Released: My Jewish Orthodox Girlhood, My Life as a Feminist Artist | review by Lenore Weiss
Tarfia Faizullah | Seam | Paul David Adkins
Sue William Silverman | The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as A White Anglo-Saxon Jew | review by Kelly O’Toole

**Indicates Translators

Katrine Marie Guldager

Translator’s Note on Katrine Marie Guldager’s Work:

As an innate writer of poetry, Guldager’s prose fiction has a strong lyrical resonance of immense depth, while still retaining a simplicity and clarity that is characteristic of Danish fiction. In her autobiography Lysgrænsen [The Border of Light] (Gyldendal, 2007), Guldager writes that she was torn between becoming a psychoanalyst or an author, but during one of her many travels to Africa, which has had a strong influence on her poetic imagination, she realised that her fascination with the intricacies of family ties is best expressed in the language of literature.

Guldager’s short story, “Trafikulykke” [The Car Accident], is from her second collection of short stories, Kilimanjaro (Gyldendal, 2005). In an interview in the magazine Udvikling [Development] 1 Febr./Mar. 2013 about her writing and the significance of her three years in Zambia as a child, she remarks:

“We know very well that we cannot save the world. We turn off the TV, because we cannot bear to see the pain and suffering we see there. But how often can we continue to do this, without losing something of our own humanity? There is no definitive answer to this question, but this is the conflict I write about [in Kilimanjaro].”

All eleven stories in Kilimanjaro are independent, and set in Copenhagen and the capital of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, yet they are connected by a subtle intertextuality in order to demonstrate the fragility of the arbitrary connections between our lives. 

 

Katrine Marie GuldaKatrine Marie Guldager, born in Hillerød north of Copenhagen in 1966, is one of Denmark’s most acclaimed authors, and has published several collections of poetry, short stories, children’s books and novels since the appearance of her poetic debut, Dagene Skifter hænder (The Days Change Hands), in 1994. She is a graduate of the renowned Writer’s School in Copenhagen and holds an Masters of Philosophy from Copenhagen University. Her works have been translated into Swedish, Norwegian, and German. Her first collection of short stories, København (Gyldendal, 2004) [Copenhagen, BookThug, Toronto] was published in English in 2011.

She is currently writing a family chronicle stretching from the Second World War to 2012–about a fictional family living in suburban Copenhagen. The first three volumes, Ulven [The Wolf] (2010), Lille Hjerte [Little Heart] (2012), and Den Nye Tid [New Times] (2013) have been published by Lindhardt & Ringhof (Egmont), Copenhagen, and the fourth volume Peter’s Død [Peter’s Death], is forthcoming in 2014. 

Van RooyenLindy Falk van Rooyen (translator) was born into a multi-lingual family (Danish/English/Afrikaans) in South Africa. She studied Law at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, and worked as an attorney in Cape Town until she emigrated to Copenhagen in 1998. After living and working in Denmark as a commercial translator and legal liaison for four and a half years, she moved to Hamburg, Germany in 2002. She holds an LL.M in Commercial Law and an MA in Scandinavian and English Literature from the University of Hamburg. Her book on Virginia Woolf’s fiction, Mapping the Modern Mind: Virginia Woolf’s parodic approach to the art of fiction in ‘Jacob’s Room’ (Diplomica, 2011) is an adaptation of her MA thesis. She is a freelance writer and has been working as a literary translator since 2012.  

 

The Car Accident

If Kilimanjaro is Africa’s roof, then Dar es Salaam is its damp, teeming floor. A man and a woman drive past Ubungo and down into Dar es Salaam via Morogoro Road. There is a teeming crowd on the streets and a throng of boys who are trying to sell everything from ragdolls to automobile equipment. It is hot. The man and woman drive down United Nations Road and cross over Selander Bridge. The woman casts a wistful glance over the Indian Ocean that is lying in waiting like a serene queen. They stop on Haile Selassie, and the woman buys some flowers; the boy selling them has some difficulty in hiding his surprise. He hands over her change without looking up.

The man turns the car onto Haile Selassie. He is looking forward to getting home, feels the wind in his hair. He is driving too fast. At the junction of Haile Selassie and Chloe Road there are always a lot of people: people, who stop and shop; drivers, who stop and wait. The man is still driving too fast, and he doesn’t notice a woman about to cross the road approximately fifty meters farther ahead. The woman is carrying a little bundle in her arms. A bundle, which may very well be a child, but the man is oblivious.

The man breaks as hard as he can. The car swerves and very nearly rams into several other cars. People grab onto their neighbors, and jump for their lives. But the damage is done: The little bundle which the woman had been carrying has rolled under the car. People close in, people gather round the car; engulf it. Two men emerge from the mass. They talk to the man in Swahili, wave their arms in the air, and fish the bloodied bundle out from underneath the car. Now people emerge from everywhere. They swarm around the car from all sides, rest their hands on the hood; their eyes scour the car’s interior.

One woman cries out that the child has been killed, and the cry is planted from one mouth to another like an echo. The crowd isn’t agitated, yet. The man gets out of the car and walks over to the child with the intention to take responsibility for his actions. The question of money had just entered his mind, when his path is barred by the woman who had initiated the cry. She looks at him with eyes that seem to say: you’ve done enough harm already. The man wants to go over to the child, wants to see the woman who had held it in her arms. But the crowd won’t allow the guilty party to meet the victim; on the contrary, the victim is cordoned off.

Without knowing what prompts his sudden unease, he realizes that the mood is about to change, and he casts his eyes downwards; he doesn’t turn his back, but retreats to the car. The woman is still sitting inside. The further he retreats, the greater the crowd’s animosity. The man is like a foreign object that must be expelled from the body.

The man gets into the car, slams the door, and thinks that, perhaps, under the circumstances, it is best to drive home and call the police. The woman doesn’t say anything­–she is too shaken to say anything­–she has lost her power of reason. She doesn’t know what they should do. She just says:

Drive!”

 *****

They drive back to their home, hoot at the port, and leave the car standing with doors open wide. They discuss what should be done. Their maidservant is home, but they don’t notice she’s there. They cannot agree. The man wants to call the police and explain what has happened­–tell things the way they are­–but the woman is more cautious. Perhaps it’s the shock. Perhaps it’s best not to do anything: They must think about the consequences. The man cannot understand why she won’t take responsibility for their actions. They were, after all, driving too fast, way too fast. He should have seen them. He doesn’t know what he was thinking. The man is overwhelmed by emotion; he feels a lump rising in his throat. Was it really a child wrapped in the bundle? How can he live without knowing the truth?

The woman doesn’t say anything, and, in the interval she doesn’t speak, the man decides to call the police and lay all his cards on the table. He would like to explain that he had tried to help the injured party. He would have liked to drive the injured child to the hospital, but the crowd was so agitated that they wouldn’t let him anywhere near. He imagines explaining everything to a friendly policeman, but, before his call is answered, he puts the receiver down: His wife is right. If you involve the police, there’s no telling what the consequences would be.

  *****

It is the woman who suggests that she drive her own car back to the scene of the accident. She will try to find the woman with the child, ask her what she needs and offer compensation. Surely the sight of the man would merely give rise to hostility, but if it were the woman who tried to help? This would be best for all parties concerned. Perhaps they could call the police afterwards. First and foremost they should concentrate on finding the woman; find out what happened to the child.

The junction at Haile Selassie and Chloe Road exudes peace and quiet. The shopkeepers are standing in the doors of their shops and looking out onto the streets in anticipation of a good deal. Cars stop; people pile out of them and buy fruit. There is no hint of the accident that took place less than an hour ago. The sea is calm; the waves have flattened themselves out. The woman parks the car next to the taxi stand and walks down Haile Selassie to the place where the woman had sat with the bloodied bundle. Not a trace. She looks into the shopkeepers’ faces, tries to discern whether they recognize her, but the shopkeepers’ eyes mirror neither a white woman, nor a car accident. Confused, she walks over to the other side of Haile Selassie. Can that be? Is it really possible that a child can die here, at this junction­– less than an hour ago­–and every discernible trace of it is gone? The woman observes the shopkeepers who are stacking bananas, oranges, and coconuts in bags; she sees white people fishing in their bags for money; she sees tired drivers flipping open the daily papers. Life goes on as before.

The woman drives home to the man, hoots in front of the port, and drives into the carport. Before she gets out of the car, she glides her head into the nape of her neck, allows it to hang suspended there; she closes her eyes to ward off the incredulous sense of irreality. This morning, they had woken up peacefully in a hotel in Ruaha, tired from the Safari they had joined at dawn. Now everything had changed; now, they were the kind of folk who hit and ran. The woman goes into the house and explains to the man that everything was utterly peaceful on Haile Selassie. It seems as if everything was just an evil dream. The maidservant is listening from the kitchen. She can hear what the man and women are talking about, but she doesn’t dream of interfering. She doesn’t consider what would be the right thing to do at all. Even so, she feels a rising sense of disquiet. What if the man and woman don’t go to the police? Perhaps she should go to the junction and make some enquiries. Perhaps­ after the working day is done. 

Fernando Valverde

Translator’s Note on Fernando Valverde’s Work:

“Snow Covered Landscape” is from Fernando Valverde’s 2004 collection Razones para huir de una ciudad con frío, a work that left me with a feeling of cold, a sense of solitude and nostalgia. In this poem, we are reminded of time’s inevitable passing, and of the way that the mundane can evoke memory, such as in the lines “the rain…/ remained constant, tracing/ your face on windows and shop fronts.” 

 

Fernando Valverde is a critically acclaimed poet based in Granada, Spain. He has been widely published not only in Spain (by Visor Libros), but throughout Latin America. He has been awarded, among others, the Juan Ramón Jimenez prize, the Premio del tren ‘Antonio Machado’ for his poem Celia o El viaje del mundo, and the Premio Emilio Alarcos for his most recent book Los ojos del pelícano. An English version of the latter (The Eyes of the Pelican) was recently published by the University Press of North Georgia. Valverde is the director and co-founder of the Festival Internacional de Poesía de Granada.

 

Liam Walke (translator) is making his debut as a literary translator, though his translations have appeared previously in Diálogos online forum. Collaborating with Fernando Valverde to publish an English/bilingual version of Razones para huir de una ciudad con frío is his first major project. Liam lives in Montreal, Canada, where he works as a freelance translator and editor. Find out more at Liam’s blog or here 

 

Snow Covered Landscape

The snow appeared this morning,
it is a solemn act after so much time,
a moment of peace
that hides the summer’s ragged vignettes.

And the rain, the rain that predicted this story
remained constant, tracing
your face on windows and shop fronts.

I had just enough time to kiss somebody
until my lips were purple and cracked.

A strange taste of you, without you, so clearly ours.

The children came out of their houses
with neither books nor wallets,
so weighed down already
by the strange presence of discoveries.

And the hats,
a city covered in colourful hats,
I thought I saw you a thousand times,
leaving some bar or with your tired
face, and your expectations,
your grievances, your yawns.

The cars seem like the embers
of a primitive fire,
entranceways are guests of smoke
and a trembling of promise undoes
beyond the hours and all the plazas.

It snowed tonight, I’m cold,
I woke up sweating and winter existed.

 

Paisaje nevado

La nieve ha aparecido esta mañana,
es un acto solemne después de tanto tiempo,
un momento de paz
que esconde las estampas traposas del verano.

Y la lluvia, la lluvia que predijo este suceso
permaneció constante dibujando
tu rostro en las ventanas y en los escaparates.

Tuve tiempo siquiera para besar alguno
hasta tener los labios morados y con grietas.

Un extraño sabor a ti, sin ti, tan nuestro.

Los niños han salido hoy de sus casas
sin libros ni carteras,
iban ya muy cargados
de la extraña presencia de los descubrimientos.

Y los gorros,
los gorros de colores por toda la ciudad,
creí reconocerte cien mil veces,
saliendo de algún bar o con el rostro
cansado, y tus expectativas,
y agravios, y bostezos.

Los coches se parecen a las brasas
de un fuego primitivo,
los portales son huéspedes de humo
y un temblor de promesa se deshace
más allá de las horas y de todas las plazas.

Ha nevado esta noche, tengo frío,
me desperté sudando y el invierno existía.

Issue 3.2 Spring 2014

Click on a title to read an author’s work(s) and bio. Let us know what you think on our Facebook page and on Twitter using #BlueLyra. Also, consider leaving a comment for everyone to read.

"The Thirsty Cup" Art by Lara Zankoul
“The Thirsty Cup” Art by Lara Zankoul

"Midnight" Art by Rose Blouin
“Midnight” Art by Rose Blouin

"The Thirsty Cup 2" Art by Lara Zankoul
“The Thirsty Cup 2” Art by Lara Zankoul

 

Poetry:

Lucille Lang Day | Rituals | I Am Afraid
Julie R. Enszer | Imperfect
Natalie Fisher | Watering the Roses
Kayla Haas | Another Tamarind Night
Cheryl Anne Latuner | What Rests in the Earth
Hart L’Ecuyer | Carnival in Neosho, Missouri | A Subway in New York with Hart Crane
Zvi A. Sesling | Excerpt from the Inquisition
Adrienne Su | Procrastination
Wally Swist | Dinner with Camus
Donna Vorreyer | Finding A Way | Instructions for Stones

 

Fiction:

Sara Henning  | Cutting It Down
R A Santos  | Body in Hands
Sarah Seltzer  | Disorder

 

Book Reviews:

Rutu Modan | The Property | review by Maya Klein
Elaine Starkman | Hearing Beyond Sound | review by Zara Raab

Nonfiction:

Balvinder Banga | Bare Footed Dreams of my Father
Ellen Brooks | Dayenu
Susan Knox | Autumn Life
Tom Leskiw | Family Matters

 

Translations:

Edna Aphek | My Father
Moshe Dor | Old People Talking | **Barbara Goldberg
Inna Kabysh | Triptych | **Katherine E Young
Kim Myung Won | 49th Day | On the Road | **EJ Koh

 

Spotlight on an Artist:

Vanessa Marsh

 

 

**Indicates translators


Edna Aphek

Translator’s Note on Edna Aphek’s Work:

My guidelines when translating my own work are: 1) Making sure the original meaning is conveyed, 2) Translation should be as close as possible to the original work, and 3) The translated material should read as it were originally written in the target language. Keeping this in mind, I have both the luxury and the difficulty of mostly translating my own work. The luxury being that I take license in deviating sometimes from my original work but the same luxury can also be a hurdle. How far can I exploit this license? This becomes very clear in the last stanza where I substituted Beit Hakvarot (Hebrew) as “cemetery tombs.” Then for Azmutcha (Exem is bone in Hebrew and Azmut is being), I decided to translate it as “bone marrow.” I felt it might combine the two. However, the greatest liberty I took in the last line of “My Father” is in the last line where Minaleihem (Hebrew for ‘their shoes’) is translated as “feet”. When translating this painful poem, I could see that what I meant when writing it was that my father’s blood and bone marrow continue living in my children, and therefore their shoes, while the original idea, became clearer in English as “feet.”

 

AphekEdna Aphek, born in Israel, 1943, is a linguist, a lecturer, a researcher in Hebrew Language and Literature, Education and Israeli culture. She writes in Hebrew and in English. She translates much of her own work mainly from Hebrew to English. Edna is a poet and an artist. She has published one book of poems and many poems in magazines and journals. Some of her poems have been translated into English and appear in several anthologies and can be read online.

 

My Father

Snow is falling over my father
Wrapping him in a feathery blanket
My mother’s sorrowful hair
Caresses his dead-open eyes

Snow keeps falling over my father
Serving him water to drink
My mother’s rivulets of sorrow
Water his bones

Snow keeps falling over my father
Pearls of tomb
My children coming home from their play
Your bone marrow in their light feet.

 

 

Aphek_MyFather

Alisa Velaj

Translator’s Note on Alisa Velaj’s Work:

A Velaj. blrAlisa Velaj is a prolific Albanian writer and poet who received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tirana, College of History and Literature. An accomplished teacher of Albanian, Velaj has received a Master of Arts degree in literature from the University of Tirana. Her graduate thesis was entitled “The Catharsis in Mitrush Kuteli’s Prose” (Discussions on the Intertextual content of Kuteli’s prose). Alisa Velaj is a Ph.D. candidate of Albanian literature at the “Blanzhe Koneski” University in Skopie, Republic of Macedonia. She is fluent in English and Italian.

Velaj has published two volumes of Poetry: Foundations of Wind (Ideart Press, 2006), and Around the Flames (2011). She has also written a foreword to Godot is not Coming, 2010, a poetry volume by Ndue Ukaj, translated in English and Spanish by Peter Tase and published in the United States by Lulu Enterprises. Alisa Velaj regularly participates in regional conferences on comparative literature, and Albanian language and professional writing seminars. Her verses of  “A tale of pilgrims” is published in the October, 2012 issue of  Enhance  in the United States, translated by Peter Tase. Velaj’s poems are translated in Portuguese by Fernando Dias Antunes and printed in his magazine which is published in Lisbon, Portugal.

 

Peter TasePeter Tase (translator) received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Italian Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, United States (2006) and is a graduate of Marquette University, Les Aspin Center for Government in Washington, D.C. (2006).  Tase has translated more than ten fiction and poetry volumes by Albanian writers, from Albanian to English and Spanish. Tase is the author of Simultaneous Dictionary in Five Languages (2010), and editor of El Idioma y Cultura Guarani en Paraguay (2011), a volume of essays and research articles written by David Galeano Olivera, president of Ateneo de Lengua y Cultura Guarani, Paraguay. For more information see, www.petertase.com

 

Manna

I ate Manna
at Zacharia’s home.
Sweet Manna
and two grilled fish.

Later was upset with my mother
who would never cook tasty food
just like grandma Rachel.

Many years went by,
but myself, a kid,
still cherish that sweet flavor
every time I see fish,
as they’re fed with coins from worshipers,
there, at the river near a synagogue…

 

Mana 

Vogëlushëve hebrenj të fëmijërisë time

Une hëngra mana
në shtëpinë e Zakarias.
Mana të ëmbla
dhe dy peshq të pjekur zgare.

Pastaj u zemërova me nënën time
që s’gatuante kurrë ushqime
si të gjyshe Rakelës.

Kaluan shumë vjet,
por une-fëmija,
ruaj ende atë shije të ëmbël
sa herë shoh peshqit,
tek ushqehen me lëmosha besimtarësh.
atje, në lumin pranë një faltoreje…

Agi Mishol

Translator’s Note on Agi Mishol’s Work:

The poetry of Agi Mishol is evocative, accessible, grounded in the present yet steeped both in Mishol’s personal past and in the public past of Israel. The challenge is to translate the words without removing them from their larger cultural context and also to preserve the gentle lyrical quality that Mishol’s poetry possesses in the original Hebrew. Cynthia Ozick wrote that “a translation can serve as a lens into the underground life of another culture,” and my wish in translating Agi Mishol’s poetry is to create this lens for readers of English.

 

Agi MisholAgi Mishol is an established Israeli poet who has won an array of prizes, including the Yehuda Amichai Prize, the Prime Minister’s Prize and the coveted Dolitzky Prize.  The daughter of Hungarian Holocaust survivors, Agi Mishol was born in Transylvania, Romania in 1946, emigrating to Israel at an early age. Her work has been translated into a number of languages and she has published more than a dozen books of poetry in Hebrew. Look There was published in English by Graywolf Press. Her latest Hebrew poetry collection is entitled Working Order. Agi Mishol directs the Helicon School of Poetry in Tel Aviv.

 

Joanna ChenJoanna Chen (translator) is a British-born journalist and poet. She has published extensively in Newsweek, The Daily Beast, BBC World Service and Radio 4. She has also published world reports on women’s issues in Marie Claire that have been syndicated in the USA, Europe and Australia. Joanna Chen’s poetry has appeared in a number of literary journals both in Israel and abroad, most recently in Poet Lore.  www.joannachen.com

 

 

She-Dog

1.

When she sees me in the morning
coming out of the house toward the fields
she leaps around me leaving
on the path
one long, precise sentence
on happiness.        

2.

Proud of her name
she charges into the crows
just to prove she’s guarding
the yard.

3.

She returns with a chicken in her mouth.
It must have escaped the neighbor’s coop.
She won’t eat it but neither will she let it go,
just stands there steaming with the bird between her teeth
and a shy wag of her tail –
half she-dog, half she-wolf
lost on the border.

4.

She has no money
no clothes
and doesn’t hold a grudge.

When she’s hungry – she eats.
When she’s thirsty – she drinks.
When she’s tired she stretches out
and falls asleep under a bush.

5.

Always by my side
she goes where I want to
before I even get up. 

Anastasiya Afanasieva

A Note On Anastasiya Afanasieva’s Work

Anastasiya Afanasieva is a brilliant contemporary poet writing in the Russian language who lives in the Ukraine. Living in one country, writing in a language of another, in a time of difficult historical transition, writing in free verse in a culture that is very oriented towards more formal verse structures, writing in a very young literature but being influenced by poets (such as Paul Celan) of quite different traditions, writing in a language whose speakers still associate poets with bards, while being a professional psychiatrist by trade, all of this gives Afanasieva’s voice a sense of dislocation, of strangeness that characterizes the work of many great poets. She posseses both strangeness and a sense of clarity of view which is unmistakable. Already recognized as one of the best Russian poets writing outside of the borders of Russia proper, this poet has a great deal to bring to her native traditions, and to those of other languages. — Katie Farris & Ilya Kaminsky

 

Katie Farris (translator) is the author of BOYSGIRLS (Marick Press) and her work has appeared in many literary journals including Virginia Quarterly Review, The Literary Review, Indiana Review, Verse, and numerous others. She teaches literature and creative writing at San Diego State University.


Ilya Kaminsky (translator) is the author of Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press) and co-editor of Ecco Anthology of International Poetry (Harper Collins).

 

From “Cold” 

by Anastasiya Afanasieva (tr. Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Farris) 

And a neighbor-lady the other day lost her glorious dog, Tita.
And now she stands and chews
a clump of snow in her palm.
And a hand without a glove
is red as a shame.
And this I saw, in the morning, walking out of my window.

Walk, hug my torso, as if I know your torso.
Walk as if a hand can console a human torso.

(Step a way from me, you idiot, my neighbor-lady yells.)

*

I am unaware of the concept of neighbors
Their faces, strange,
I see in backyards, on the morning walk to work
on the evening walk from work
I see their faces.

(And my body to their eyes, my body, is snow)

Momentary beings, lungs
in snow
who can console snow, lungs?

*

To winter’s narrow splinter
Of s street, to an idiot neighbor
And her idiot dog
We will now announce:

glory.

To quiet and naked branches of poplars
To faces  also quiet
In winter’s splinter
Of a wind, say:

glory.

To a voice you don’t hear
The real
Voice, cold, cut from stone in
a bone:

glory.

To no one, unknown
One blue on white
And quiet that splinters
the winter:

glory.

 

The Plain Sense of Things 

by Anastasiya Afanasieva (tr. Ilya Kaminsky and Katie Farris)

1
Of simple things – whisper, whisper – not
touching the ear of another –
believe – in another’s – eardrum.
So February opens, opens-
The time
whistles in a straw
as if a child sips from a glass of sparkling water.
Mouth opens, opens
before each word.
And the “o” of the mouth
is quiet
with want. Wide, and restrained, want.

3
And the snow comes as if no one knows about us
and no one needs us
and there was no
breath, no failure
and no earth that takes us inside.

9
Of simple things – in whisper, whisper.
So gives us to our bodies, time.
So the hands are held in hands, the bodies
drop into us.
So, the flame —
which comes from this evening
which is in our stomachs.
Our stomach, a city where we
are not yet persons. And no longer a breath, us.
And we — we want to go back to that breath, us.
We remember, us. 

12
Of simple things whisper, whisper.
Whisper us. Us, time.

 

 

 

 

Dolores Castro

A Note On Dolores Castro Work

This poem appears in a string-bound book Dolores gave me when we first met in Comitán, Chiapas. After breakfast, she handed me this volume, along with another book of hers. It contains several poems accompanied by French translations. This encounter and seeing those poems rendered into another language inspired me to translate her work.

 

Dolores Castro was born in Aguascalientes in 1923. She studied law and literature at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Her poetry collections include Nocturnos (1950), Siete poemas (1952), La tierra está sonando (1959), and Cantares de vela (1960). In the U.S., translations of her poetry have appeared in Washington Square and Weave.

 

Toshiya Kamei (translator) holds an MFA in Literary Translation from the University of Arkansas. His translations include Liliana Blum’s The Curse of Eve and Other Stories (2008), Naoko Awa’s The Fox’s Window and Other Stories (2010), Espido Freire’s Irlanda (2011), and Selfa Chew’s Silent Herons (2012). Other translations have appeared in The Global Game (2008), Sudden Fiction Latino (2010), and My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me (2010).


The Dream of the Stone

by Dolores Castro (translated by Toshiya Kamei)

The dream of the stone is long and cold
its gray nature
kept nothing of the splendor of the fire.

How frightened I am by what goes off and remains!

Burning, quiet,
under the night of my senses
imprisoned
I only ask for heat.

How frightened I am by what goes off and remains!

 

Largo y frío es el sueño de la piedra

Largo y frío es el sueño de la piedra
nada guardó del esplendor del fuego
su gris naturaleza.

¡Cómo me espanta lo que se apaga y queda!

Al rojo vivo, quieta,
bajo la noche de mis sentidos
prisionera
sólo pido calor.

¡Cómo me espanta lo que se apaga y queda!

 

Orit Gidali

A Note on Orit Gidali’s Work:
Orit Gidali’s poetry transforms a common word or gesture into a multi-dimensional experience by playing upon a word’s lineage and range of meaning. “Beloved” is composed in the language of the Song of Songs, and to achieve a similar echo in English, I used the language of the King James Bible. “Note” refers to the religious prohibition of combining milk and meat in a single meal.

 

Orit Gidali is an Israeli poet. “Note” and “My Beloved” originally appeared in the collection Esrim Ne’arot LeKane [Twenty Girls to Envy Me(Sifriat Poalim, Tel Aviv, 2003).  Gidali is also the author of Smikhut [Closing In(2009), and the children’s book Noona Koret Mahshavot [Noona the Mindreader] (2007). Her books are currently the top-selling poetry in Israel.

 

 

Photo Credit by Bill Wolff

Marcela Sulak (translator) is the author of two collections of poetry, Immigrant (Black Lawrence Press, 2010) and the chapbook Of all the things that don’t exist, I love you best (2008). She has translated three collections of poetry from 19th century Czech and from Congolese French. Her poetry and essays are forthcoming in such journals as Guernica, Black Warrior Review, Cimmaron Review, The Journal, and Iowa Review. She directs the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar-Ilan University, where she is a senior lecturer.


My beloved

by Orit Gidali (translated by Marcela Sulak)

Filled were my days with suns.
Filled were my days with love.
When he comes to the door I will open to him
and I will be wet loam.
*
The balcony of my body is rosemary for him
and he, clusters of vines.
Sometimes, in the darkness, before his sleep,
I hear a grape opening.
*
Behold, here he arrives at the gate,
he removes the breastplate of his clothing
set with shards from the floor of our house.
*
He kisses me and permits me
to lay my ribs
in the space between his ribs.
I return to him.

B.
He poeticizes our sated bodies
in the ears of friends.
They hear and are burned
as one who imagines the taste of a lemon.

Then he waves goodbye.
The movement of his hand caresses from afar
all the organs of my body.

C.
He kisses my extended hand,
fingers like the lashes of an eyelid.
He is a man who holds an etrog,
he brings his nose close to smell it.
*
My beloved who found a woman,
he looked for and found her in himself.
She is beautiful, she is more beautiful than I.
*
A well is full of lace,
fine lace, my love.
When my hands roll away the rock
the white light spills out.

 

Note

by Orit Gidali (translated by Marcela Sulak)

My beloved wakes up,
my body warm on him,
meat mixes with milk.

 

 

Premiere Issue

Issue 1.1: Summer 2012

Click on the author’s name to read their work(s) and bio. Let us know what you think on our Facebook page and on Twitter using #BlueLyra.

“Photosynthesis” Photo by Gin Conn

 

“Gray with Warm Lights”
Photo by Robin Grotke