August 1, 2014 | Kaitlin Hawkins

News, Reviews, and Interviews

Is literary translation something that can be taught? Translator Katy Derbyshire shares her thoughts on the subject and the BCLT summit.

International authors discuss their thoughts on writing in English and expanding their native literature in a recent New York Times piece.

For Words Without Borders, translator Esther Allen recently answered several questions about her work with literary translation, including her experiences with untranslatable words and her translation rituals. (To learn more about Allen, see our joint, two-part interview with her and Susan Bernofsky from July.)

This year marks the centennial of the start of World War I, and after a recent discovery, a never-before-published memoir by Béla Zombory-Moldován will bring to light Hungarian experiences throughout the war years.

Even if you weren’t able to att...

July 30, 2014 | WLT


The fifth and last round of the Summer Reading LitQuest continues with a trip through some of our recent interviews on the WLT website. Answer all the questions right and you'll be entered to win a free digital subscription to WLT! The interviews quiz is open for entries today, July 30th, through Tuesday, August 12th at midnight. Happy reading, and we hope you find a few new writers and translators along the way as well.

July 29, 2014 | Nathalie Handal


Once in a tiny strip
dark holes swallowed hearts
and one child told another
withdraw your breath
whenever the night wind
is no longer a land of dreams


The Gazans

I died before I lived
I lived once in a grave
now I’m told it’s not big enough
to hold all of my deaths


Tiny Feet 

A mother looks at another—
a sea of small bodies
burnt or decapitated
around them—
and asks,
How do we mo...

July 28, 2014 | Piotr Florczyk

While staring at the paper on his writing desk, the author wonders whether he’s building a new Tower of Babel.

There is a poem I know, by a poet who shall remain unnamed, in which the poet engages in a dialogue with a blank sheet of paper lying on a table before him. He calls the page all the right things, like “beautiful” and “kind” and “sexy.” The page says nothing. When he touches it with his hands, it doesn’t respond, but nor does it recoil in disgust. When he lowers his head, it doesn’t mock him. He bows for so long that eventually his head falls hard onto the kitchen table. He’s in pain, but from up close he gets to see the imperfections in the page—small flecks of discoloration, tiny wrinkles—and momentarily his failure to sweep the page off its feet with his words doesn’t bother him. In time, aware that it no longer holds all the cards, the page invites the poet to “come in.” I’m about to wake up from my nap, it tells him—why don’t you make yourself at home? What a mésalliance! The poet, meanwhile, tired of courting the page, calls the page’s bluff and withdraws. From this point on, their relationship can’t even be c...

July 25, 2014 | Kaitlin Hawkins

News, Reviews, and Interviews

Hala Salah, the woman behind the only literature review to translate English works into Arabic, is embarking on a brand new venture: audiobooks for the blind.

At some point, all of us have struggled to learn a new language. But this creative piece at the New York Times shows that sometimes, the struggle to learn a new skill, like a new language, is truly beneficial for your brain, even in older adults.

In the first comprehensive study in English, East Asian languages and cultures Professor Ronald Egan argues that the poetry of 12th-century writer Li Qingzhao has been consistently misrepresented due to centuries of gender bias.

Banipal is celebrating its 50th issue with a fantastic feature on Arabic prison writing.

The age-old question: does poetry matter? Responding to a New York Times piece that ran this week, the Academy of American Poets provides a...