Podcast: Boris Dralyuk + Andrei Kurkov

This episode features Ukrainian- American poet and translator Boris Dralyuk – and on the second half of the show – Ukrainian author Andrei Kurkov.

Boris Dralyuk is an award- winning translator and the Editor-in-Chief of the Los Angeles Review of Books. He taught Russian literature for a number of years at UCLA and at the University of St Andrews. He is a co-editor (with Robert Chandler and Irina Mashinski) of the Penguin Book of Russian Poetry, and has translated Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry and Odessa Stories, as well as Andrei Kurkov’s The Bickford Fuse and Grey Bees. In 2020 he received the inaugural Kukula Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Book Reviewing from the Washington Monthly.

Boris Dralyuk joins us from Los Angeles to talk about his debut poetry collection My Hollywood and other Poems (Paul Dry Books, 2022) and about his translation of Andrei Kurkov’s Grey Bees, a novel set in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, against the backdrop of a long-simmering conflict between Russian-backed separatists and Ukrainian forces.

Andrei Kurkov is a writer, journalist, and screenwriter. He is the first writer in post-Soviet countries, whose books have reached the top ten European bestsellers. Over 150 thousand copies of his most popular novel Death and the Penguin were sold in Ukraine. Kurkov’s books are translated into 37 languages. Kurkov is the president of PEN Ukraine. Andrei Kurkov is joining us from West Ukraine where he has found refugee away from his home in Kiev after Putin’s invasion of Ukraine at the end of February. Grey Bees, is his latest novel translated into English by Boris Dralyuk published in the US with Deep Vellum and in the UK by Maclehose Press.

Donate to PEN Ukraine here.

Podcast: Literary translator from Portuguese Eric M. B. Becker

Eric M. B. Becker is a writer, literary translator, and editor of Words without Borders. He has also published translations of numerous writers from Brazil, Portugal, and Lusophone Africa, including, MIA COUTO, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, Djaimila Pereira de Almeida, Alice Sant’Anna, Fernanda Torres, and Lygia Fagundes Telles (NEA Fellowship 2019), among others. His work has appeared in the New York TimesForeign AffairsThe Literary HubFreeman’s, and Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading, among other publications. He has served on the juries of the ALTA National Translation Award and the PEN Translation Prize, and he is a member of the board of artist brand management consultancy CargoCulture.

Mentioned in this episode:

Clockwise from top left: That Hair by Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida translated by Erick M. B. Becker, Rain & other stories by Mia Couto translated by Erick M. B. Becker, São Bernardo by Graciliano Ramos, speak low by Alice Sant’Anna translated by Erick M. B. Becker.

Sound engineer: Oscar Perez.

Podcast: short-story writer Fernando Sdrigotti + Poet & translator Yvette Siegert

Fernando Sdrigotti was born in Rosario (Argentina) in 1977. Expelled by the economic crash of 2001, he lived in Dublin and Paris before settling in London in the early noughties. His fiction and critical writing has appeared widely online and in print, and has been translated into French, Italian, Turkish, Norwegian and Spanish. He is the founder of the online literary journal Minor Literature[s] and was a contributing editor at 3:AM Magazine and Numéro Cinq. Shitstorm, a novella, was published in 2018 by Open Pen. Dysfunctional Males, his first collection of short stories in English, was published in 2017 by LCG Media. Jolts Nine stories. Nine ways of not being at home. Nine confrontations to the limits of fiction and memoir. Jolts is a playful and honest exploration of the joys and sorrows of lives lived in-between places. A collection that travels across time, space, and language, in order to deliver the gospel of the Latin American short story. He teaches Spanish and Latin American literature at Birkbeck, University of London.

Yvette Siegert is a Latinx poet and translator based in Oxford. Siegert is a CantoMundo Poetry Fellow currently reading for a PHD in Spanish American literature at Merton College. She received the Lord Alfred Douglas Prize, and her translations of Alejandra Pizarnik, Extracting the Stone of Madness: Poems 1962–1972, won the Best Translated Book Award in 2017.

Silvia Rothlisberger is the producer and host of Literary South.

Jolts by Fernando Sdrigotti (Influx Press 2020)
Yvette Siegert won the Best Translated Book Award in 2017 for her translation of Alejandra Pizarnik’s poems.

This show was broadcast on Resonance 104.4 on 25 November at 8pm.

Music: Dominique by Ela Minus

Podcast: Poets Patrizia Longhitano (Brazil) + Ana Maria Reyes (Venezuela)

 

Patrizia Longhitano was born in Brazil in 1980 and lived in Manaus until she was eight years old. She moved to Italy with her adoptive parents until 2005 when she decided to move to the UK. Since then, she has been living in London working as a nanny. She started writing poems in English more than ten years ago. Some of her poems have appeared in the anthology Un Nuevo Sol, The Rialto Magazine, The South Bank Poetry Magazine and The Delinquent.

Ana María Reyes is a poet from Caracas, Venezuela born in 1983. She is the co- founder of the poetry collective Poesía Pandemica.  She studied arts and documentary filmmaking. Her work has been anthologized in Leyendo poesía in London: todas las voces todas, todas (El ojo de la cultura, 2019) and De Lujurías y Musas.

Music: Pelo Cucu by Lido Pimienta