Your breath bright with presence is origin.

Three poems by Pilar Fraile Amador, translated from the Spanish by Lizzie Davis. 

PilarBN 8x5_1470. pequeu00F1aldavisPilar Fraile Amador is one of the most innovative of the generation of poets to come of age in post-Franco Spain. She writes in a voice beyond the constraints of self-isolating, institutionalized Spanish poetry, creating work that is non-linear, multi-vocal, and disjunctive. Poems from her collection Larva & Hedge move with stark grace and invite the reader to enter into an imaginative coexistence, a world at once surreal and imbued with a sense of déja vu. Within this unearthly province, poet and reader alike must consider the play between the intimate and the collective, the past and the present, the human and the animal.

Larva, the section in which the following poems appear, explores an undercurrent of unnoticed correspondence that exists between human beings, a wellspring of the collective subconscious. Here, individual and communal memories intermix and alter one another, and the living are able to communicate with objects and the dead. Inherited memories both enable and limit a speaker struggling to articulate her difference.

Fraile Amador investigates the destruction of the name as one means to strip selfhood from context. Names, these poems posit, allow us to recognize and to be recognized but can just as easily function as cages: they distance us from all within us that cannot be articulated. In Larva, the name–bestowed by mother and father, a bridge between two halves–is set on fire. The first lines of the volume show that this act is simultaneously generative and destructive: “I make tinder of my name / and wait for the seed.”

–Lizzie Davis

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Podcast #8: Lawrence Venuti

by: Montana Ray

Venuti.Credit Karen Van Dyck


In this episode, Montana Ray interviews historian, theorist, and translator Lawrence Venuti on how, by way of theory and practice, he has come to view translation as an interpretive, figurative act. Approaching the question of “what kind of figure do you want to create?” Larry discusses how the hybridity of his own mother tongue is registered in his translations; how he strives to create readerly fluency using a writerly translation technique; and the intertexts he has created for various translation projects (Antonia Pozzi, IU Tarchetti, Ernest Farrés) by sampling from a variety of relevant English(es) in an experimentalist approach first practiced and discussed by Pound. With original poems and music by Ernest Farrés, Lluís Llach, and the Stepping into Catalan Music Project, as well as translations by Lawrence Venuti of poems by Ernest Farrés and J.V. Foix.

Lawrence Venuti has translated over 15 books, including Edward Hopper by Edward Farrés (Graywolf Press, 2009), selected by Richard Howard for the Robert Fagles Translation Prize. He is a professor of English at Temple University, the editor of a foundational anthology in translation studies, The Translation Studies Reader (Routledge, 2000; 2nd ed, 2004; 3rd ed., 2012), and a theorist in the same field, most recently authoring Translation Changes Everything: Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2013).

Picture by Karen Van Dyck. 


They knocked my teeth out.
I became a member.

Two Poems by Ma Lan translated from Chinese by Charles A. Laughlin.




by Ma Lan







刷出阳光,刷出微笑。 现代工业社会讲究微笑。










饭后刷牙。使用电动牙刷, 。刷牙不宜用力过猛.。








人们应该熟知而深刻体会牙齿的先进精神,每颗恒牙的萌出有一定的时间和顺序,并且左右侧同名牙是成对 萌出的。其中,第一颗恒磨牙大约在六岁左右萌出,所称“六龄牙”。















Writing a Love Poem for a Tooth

by Ma Lan
1. I want to knock out my molars. There are eight ways to knock them out.
Knock them out lightly. Knock them out hard. First lightly then hard. First hard then lightly.
2. As I am the freshly minted 2003 Poet Laureate of Bent-Neck Village, my dentist is a Yale PhD.
He insisted that I do a deep cleaning.
He stands on the Himalayas teaching Nepalese children to brush their teeth.
Brushing in the sunshine and smiles—modern industrial society takes smiling seriously
The snowy mountains flow downward.
3. I joined a tooth club, the dues were 300 Bent-Neck dollars.
My sponsors’ names are secret, there are only two. One witness.
They pulled me off my bed and beat me up. I picked up my application. They beat me again.
They knocked my teeth out. I became a member.
4. The purpose of a toothbrush. The correct method of brushing your teeth.
Brush after eating. Use an electric toothbrush. Don’t use too much force as you brush.
Cosmetic dentistry has three categories: stain removal, capping, and enameling.
If your goal in brushing your teeth is not pure, your teeth will not get white.
If you do not have the correct toothbrush method, your teeth will not have a proper attitude.
5.  According to legend, there are two sets of teeth in our lives; we must make a transition from baby teeth to permanent teeth, or we become inhuman
We must familiarize ourselves with and deeply understand the progressive spirit of teeth
The emergence of each permanent tooth adheres to the time and order of its elders—in the moonlight each tooth and its comrade emerge on the left and right
The first permanent molars emerge at about age six, and so are named “six year molars”
6.  One of my right teeth suddenly fell out.
No explanation, and I could not find the instructions.
7.  I clenched my teeth. Teeth bite people, bite dogs.
No wonder the tooth wanted to fall out. Heaven and earth changed color because of it.
8.  “Of 65 tongue cancer victims surveyed between ages 26 and 39, 56 have teeth tilted toward their tongues.”
This could be a sign of the cause of international political conflicts: implicit agreement disturbed from left and right; advantage gained from both sides.
9.  The knocked-out tooth is swallowed down. Then it grows out of the stomach.


translated from Chinese by Charles A. Laughlin

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Evening comes into our house –
a little bitter and very clean


Amanda Aizpuriete Inara 25 poems by Amanda Aizpuriete translated from Latvian by Inara Cedrins.


[Tālu aiz pilsētas krītošu raķešu gaismā]

by Amanda Aizpuriete

Tālu aiz pilsētas krītošu raķešu gaismā

Kareivja māte izkravā manu maisu.


Tur purva, nakts un nāves smarža visam.

Māt, vai mēs uzvarai ticam?


Pulkstenis, šķiltavas, dzeltējošs meitenes smaids.

Papira driskas. Pēdējais sveiciens? Vaids?


Dzeja. Par nakti, purvu un nāvi.

Tālāk par naktīm, purviem un nāvēm –


Par pilsētu. Par pieneni. Par mums.


[Far beyond the city in the light of falling rockets]

by Amanda Aizpuriete

Far beyond the city in the light of falling rockets

The soldier’s mother loaded a sack with objects.


There was a grove, night and the smell of death on everything.

Mother, do we still believe in victory?


Clock, cigarette lighter, the golden smile of a girl.

Tatters of paper. A last greeting? A wail?


Poetry. About night, the grove and death.

Further than nights, groves and deaths –


About the city. About a dandelion. About us.

translated from Latvian by Inara Cedrins

[Simtiem reižu sacīts: baidies miera.]

by Amanda Aizpuriete


Simtiem reižu sacīts: baidies miera.

Ilgi baidījusies, nu vairs nebaidos.

Attek migla – manu namu

Baltiem karodziņiem post.

Nāve papļāpāt ar mani nekautrējas.

Vienas cilts mēs esam,

Vienas dzejas,

Naktīs klausos tos, kas elpo tālu

Puķu, klusuma un drupu zemē.

[A hundred times it’s been said: fear peace.]

by Amanda Aizpuriete

A hundred times it’s been said: fear peace.

Long having feared, I no longer fear.

Fog flows in – my house

attacked by white flags.

Death is not shy of chattering to me.

We are of one tribe,

one poem.

Nightly I listen to those who breathe, distant,

in the land of flowers, silence and ruins.

translated from Latvian by Inara Cedrins
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