Meet the Translations 2011 poets

Russian poet Polina Barskova

Taking place Oct. 25-29, this year’s Translations international poetry festival celebrates cross-cultural communication with visiting poets from the Americas, Europe and Japan. The festival begins at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, with a welcome, readings and a reception in Chase Hall, 56 Campus Ave.

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Meet the Translations poets of 2011:

Polina Barskova was recognized early on as a prodigy and is considered one of the most gifted Russian poets under age 40. Her work has been translated into four languages, including recent English editions of This Lamentable City (trans. by Ilya Kaminsky, Tupelo Press, 2010) and Zoo in Winter (trans. by David Stromberg and Boris Draliuk; Melville House, 2011). Since releasing her first collection at 15, Barskova has published five additional books. She is an assistant professor of Russian literature and film at Hampshire College.

Born in Waterville, Maine, Rhea Côté’s work contemplates what it means to be Franco-American and female in the United States. Her published work includes Wednesday’s Child (Rheta Press, 1999), winner of the 1997 Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance Chapbook Award; and I am Franco-American and Proud of It: Franco-American Women’s Anthology, which she co-edited and designed. Côté teaches courses in Franco-American women’s experiences and creative nonfiction at the University of Maine.

Robert Farnsworth

A senior lecturer in English at Bates, Robert Farnsworth began writing poetry in his teens, and makes work that strives to reconcile opposites — distance and detail, the habitual and the exotic. His pieces have appeared in multiple magazines, two poetry collections from Wesleyan University Press, and the 2010 book Rumored Islands (Harbor Mountain Press).

Francisca López, professor of Spanish at Bates, has published numerous scholarly articles and has written or co-edited two books. As a creative writer, she has published poetry in a variety of journals, and she and Aburto Guzmán co-authored a collection of short stories, La séptima mujer (Ediciones Nuevo Espacio, 2004), and the novel Posdata (same publisher, 2004).

Poet Naomi Otsubo

Naomi Otsubo has pursued her passion for language throughout her life as a writer and translator. Born and raised in Tokyo, she will release her first book of Japanese poetry later this year. A Maine resident, Otsubo has quietly rebelled against social constraints by simply living on her own terms.

Danny Plourde comes from Quebec. Since his first book, Vers quelque (Hexagone, 2004), he has published several poetry collections and a novel. The role of the poem in the public square and literary engagement are important issues of his creative approach. Joseph Morneau: La pinte est en spécial (Vlb, 2011), a novel dealing with media bars in Montreal, is his latest book. Plourde has also performed with a garage band called Les Fidel Castrol.

Carmen Elisabeth Puchianu has published several books of short stories and poetry. She researches modern and post-modern German literature, Romanian-German literature and creative writing, and is head of the foreign languages and literatures department at Transylvania University in Brasov. Puchianu is an advocate for the use of role-playing in teaching foreign languages and literatures.

Miguel Angel Zapata is a prolific poet who received the Premio Latino de Literatura (Latino Award for Literature) in 2003. Poet Anthony Seidman states, “He is able to both light up and embrace this world, and that is no small feat. Zapata is without a doubt one of the most innovative poets in Latin America today.” Zapata is a professor of Hispanic literature at Hofstra University, where he also directs the Hofstra Hispanic Review.