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Into English: Poems, Translations, Commentaries (Graywolf, 2017)

Into English Cover

25 poems chosen by 25 contributors, each with three translations and commentary.

About Into English

A unique anthology that illuminates the history and the art of translating poetry into English.

The publication of Into English will soon be considered a watershed moment in the study of literary translation.

World Literature Today

An endlessly provocative and invaluable anthology.

BBC Culture

Into English is a book to be meditated on, a book that exposes the vast inner chasms of poetry, a book that demonstrates that a great poem is something one can live in.

The Paris Review, Staff Picks

The commentators are among the best minds writing today, making up a great collection; a contribution to literature, crossing bridges to greater understandings, and expanding the bright art of translation better than ever before.

—Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books

A world poetry anthology edited by Martha Collins and Kevin Prufer, centered around the gorgeous and revelatory conceit of presenting each of its thoughtfully assembled 25 poems four times over: in its original language, then through three translations, followed by astute commentary elucidating the distinctions between the various renderings of each poem.

—Eileen Cheng-yin Chow, Los Angeles Review of Books, "China Channel"

By reframing this impossibility of translation as a good thing, Into English makes a powerful argument for poetry as a whole.

—Thomas Moore Devlin, Babbel

Into English allows readers an extraordinary opportunity to experience the process and artistry of translating poetry. Editors Martha Collins and Kevin Prufer invited twenty-five contributors, all of them translators and most of them also poets, to select one poem in another language and three English translations of it, and then to provide an essay about the challenges and rewards of translating it. This anthology offers the original poem and the translations side by side, so readers can compare the translations for themselves.

The original poems are from across time and around the world. The poets include Sappho, San Juan de la Cruz, Basho, Rilke, Akhmatova, García Lorca, Szymborska, Amichai, and Adonis. The languages represented are many, from Latin to Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, and Haitian Creole. More than seventy translators are included, among them Robert Bly, Anne Carson, Ruth Fainlight, David Hinton, Rosemary Lloyd, Khaled Mattawa, and W. S. Merwin. Into English becomes a chorus in celebration of international poetry and translation―what George Kalogeris, quoting Virgil, describes as “song replying to song replying to song.”

Into English plunges the reader into a translation seminar: the joyous, argumentative, fetishistic, obsessive, and unending struggle to give poems new life in English. This generous book offers a plenitude: plural poems, plural languages, plural eras, plural translators. And summons us to add to the bounty.

—Rosanna Warren

Into English is the great book so many of us have waited for: an anthology that actually teaches one about craft. For what is the discussion of literary translation if not a patient, detail-oriented, step-by-step education for a poet on the masteries of word choice, precision, tone? To say that I love this very special collection is an understatement.

—Ilya Kaminsky

Contributors include Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Willis Barnstone, Chana Bloch, Karen Emmerich, Danielle Legros Georges, Johannes Göransson, Joanna Trzeciak Huss, George Kalogeris, J. Kates, Alexis Levitin, Bonnie McDougall, Jennifer Moxley, Carl Phillips, Hiroaki Sato, Cindy Schuster, Rebecca Seiferle, Adam Sorkin, Susan Stewart, Cole Swensen, Arthur Sze, Stephen Tapscott, Alisa Valles, Sidney Wade, Ellen Doré Watson, and David Young.

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