Contributors

About
  • Author, Spanish
    César Aira was born in Coronel Pringles, Argentina, in 1949, and has lived in Buenos Aires since 1967. Perhaps one of the most prolific writers in Argentina, and certainly one of the most talked about in Latin America, Aira has published more than eighty books to date in Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, and Spain, which have been translated for France, Great Britain, Italy, Brazil, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Romania, Russia, and the United States.
  • Translator, Turkish
    Aron Aji is a native of Turkey. He received an NEA Translation Fellowship and then the PEN Translation Prize for his translation of Bilge Karasu’s Long Day’s Evening (City Lights, 2012). A member of the American Literary Translators Association and PEN, Aji is the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at St. Ambrose University, and an affiliate faculty member at University of Iowa’s MFA in Translation program.
  • Author
    Gülten Akın (1933 – 2015) was a Turkish poet deeply inspired by folklore. The recipient of numerous awards, her poems have been translated into many languages, and more than 40 of her poems have been composed into songs.
  • Author, Arabic
    Born in 1975, Bahraini poet Ali Al Jallawi began writing poetry at the age of fourteen. His early work was characterized by revolutionary and political ideas, and he was imprisoned for three months at the age of seventeen after writing a poem in which he criticized the Bahraini regime. He was arrested again in 1995, during the uprising in Bahrain, and imprisoned until 1998, the period covered in his memoir, God After Ten O’Clock. His collections of poetry include Al Madina Al Akhira, Dilmuniyat I, Dilmuniyat II, and Tashta’il karazat nahd. During the crackdown against the pro-democracy protests in Bahrain earlier this year, Ali Al Jallawi fled the country and is now in exile in Europe.
  • Author, Arabic
    Taleb Al Refai (fiction writer; Kuwait) has published seven collections of short stories, a play, a number of critical works, and four novels, including the controversial The Shadow of the Sun in 1998. His 2002 The Scent of the Sea won the Kuwait National Award for Arts & Literature. Trained as an engineer, Al-Refai has since joined the staff of the National Council for Culture, Art, and Literature, where he manages the Culture and Arts Department. His articles appear regularly in the Al-Hayat and Al-Jarida Kuwaiti newspapers; in 2009 he chaired the Arabic Booker Prize for Fiction. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
  • Author, Arabic
    Jokha al-Harthi is an academic and a novelist from Oman. An assistant professor at Sultan Qaboos University, she has published ten books including collections of short stories, novels, and children’s books. Her recent novel Narinjah (Bitter Orange) won the Sultan Qaboos Award for Culture, Arts, and Literature in 2016.
  • Author, Uyghur
    Mahmud al-Kashgari was an eleventh-century Uyghur scholar and lexicographer of the Turkic languages from Kashgar. He composed the first comprehensive dictionary of Turkic languages.
  • Author, Arabic
    Ibrahim Al-Koni is a Libyan writer and one of the most prolific Arabic novelists. Born in 1948 in the Fezzan Region, Ibrahim al-Koni was brought up on the tradition of the Tuareg, popularly known as “the veiled men” or “the blue men.” By 2007, al-Koni had published more than eighty books and received numerous awards. All written in Arabic, his books have been translated into thirty-five languages. His novel Gold Dust appeared in English in 2008. In 2015, Al-Koni was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize.
  • Author, Arabic
    Ghadah al-Shafi’i is a Palestinian poet, born in 1977 in Acre. She studied Philosophy and Comparative Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has published work in the journals al-Masharif and al-Karmil.
  • Author, Arabic
    Hala al-Shrouf was born in Libya and lives in Ramallah, Palestine. Her first book of poetry was published in 2004. She has worked as a teacher for the deaf and as an English teacher. Her work has been translated into English, French, Spanish, and Swedish.
  • Author, Spanish
    Daniel Alarcón is a Peruvian-born novelist whose books include War by Candlelight, a finalist for the 2005 PEN/Hemingway Award, and Lost City Radio, named a Best Novel of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Washington Post. He is executive producer of Radio Ambulante, a Spanish language narrative journalism podcast. In 2010 The New Yorker named him one of the Best 20 Writers Under 40, and his most recent novel, At Night We Walk in Circles, was a finalist for the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award.
  • Author, Serbian
    David Albahari, a Serbian writer and translator, has published eleven short-story collections and thirteen novels in Serbian, garnering the Ivo Andric Award for best book of short stories published in Yugloslavia (1982), the NIN Prize for best novel published in Yugoslavia (1996), the Balcanica Award, and the Berlin Bridge Prize, among others. He also has translated into Serbian the works of a host of English-language writers, from Saul Bellow to Isaac Bashevis Singer, Vladimir Nabokov to Sam Shepard. He lives in Alberta, Canada.  
  • Translator, Arabic
    Mohammed Albakry is an Egyptian-American academic and translator of contemporary Arabic literature. In 2011 he lived and taught in Morocco on a Fulbright fellowship. Some of his translations of Egyptian drama have been performed in major U.S. cities including theaters in New York, Boston, and Chicago. He is currently a professor in the English department at Middle Tennessee State University.
  • Author, Spanish
    Rafael Alberti won Spain’s National Prize for Literature at age twenty-two for Marinero en tierra (Sailor on Land, 1925) and was soon drawn into the circle of poets who came to be known as the Generation of ’27. Alberti continued to publish and also, like many of the other poets, became politically involved and helped to bring about the birth of the Spanish Republic. When Franco’s fascists rose up against the republic in 1936, beginning in the Spanish Civil War Alberti was very active in the republic’s defense. When Franco ultimately triumphed, Alberti fled. His exile from Spain lasted almost forty years.
  • Author, Ancient Greek
    Alcaeus of Mytilene was a poet of wine, war, and politics, and composer of short hymns to the gods. He was a sixth-century BC Greek lyric poet from Lesbos island. He was an older contemporary of and an alleged lover of Sappho, with whom he may have exchanged poems. The scholars of Hellenistic Alexandria included Alcaeus in the canonical list of nine lyric poets.
  • Author, Spanish
    Clara Isabel Alegría Vides (born in 1924) was born to Nicaraguan and Salvadoran parents in Estelí, Nicaragua, and spent her childhood in exile in El Salvador. A poet, essayist, novelist, and journalist, she became a major voice in the literature of contemporary Central America writing under the pseudonym Claribel Alegría. She published numerous books of poetry and was awarded the 2006 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.
  • Author, Arabic
    Born in 1931 in the Galilee village of Saffuriyya, Taha Muhammad Ali was one of the leading poets on the contemporary Palestinian scene. During the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, he was forced to flee to Lebanon, together with most of the inhabitants of his village. A year later he slipped across the border with his family and, finding his village destroyed, settled in Nazareth, where he lived until his death in 2011.
  • Author, Italian
    Durante degli Alighieri, simply called Dante (c. 1265–1321), was a major Italian poet of the Late Middle Ages. His Divine Comedy, originally called Comedìa (modern Italian: Commedia) and later christened Divina by Boccaccio, is widely considered the greatest literary work composed in the Italian language and a masterpiece of world literature. Dante defended use of the vernacular in literature and, as a result, played an instrumental role in establishing the national language of Italy.
  • Author, French
    Alphonse Allais (1854–1905) was a French writer and humorist born in Honfleur, Calvados, who died in Paris. He is the author of many collections of whimsical writings. A poet as much as a humorist, he cultivated the verse form known as holorhyme, i.e. made up entirely of homophonous verses, where entire lines are pronounced the same.
  • Translator, Danish
    Marina Allemano teaches at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Her publications include Historical Portraits and Visions, Suzanne Brøgger: en introduktion (written in Danish), and articles in Scandinavica, Scandinavian Studies, Scandinavian-Canadian Studies, Horisont, Texts, Hrymfax, Danish Writers from the Reformation to 1900 (DLB series), and Female Voices from the North I: An Anthology. She has also translated A Fighting Pig’s Too Tough to Eat and Other Prose Texts by Suzanne Brøgger.