The Untranslatables: Curtis Bauer

The following post is from Curtis Bauer whose translations of Jorge Gimeno appeared in the winter issue of M-Dash. Curtis’s translation, Baghdad and Other Poems, a bilingual chapbook of poems by Jorge Gimeno, is forthcoming from Poets@Work Press in 2015.   You most likely haven’t heard of Jorge Gimeno (Madrid, 1964), or that he is… Continue reading The Untranslatables: Curtis Bauer

Excerpt: Levantine Legends and Histories of Bread

The Massachusetts Review just released a special issue on the Mediterranean and it’s filled with new and exciting translations. We’re including an excerpt here from a translation of the South Slavic writer Predrag Matvejević (bio below) by M-Dash’s contributing editor Russell Scott Valentino:   Knowledge of grain and of bread was passed from generation to… Continue reading Excerpt: Levantine Legends and Histories of Bread

The Untranslatables: Addie Leak

The following contribution is from Addie Leak, a freelance editor and translator based in Iowa City, IA, where she is also a Provost’s Postgraduate Visiting Writer in the creative writing track of the English department. She translates primarily from French and Spanish, and her work has been published in the Huffington Post, The Postcolonialist, and the… Continue reading The Untranslatables: Addie Leak

The Untranslatables: Kelly Morse

The following contribution is from Kelly Morse, a poet, creative nonfiction writer, and translator. From 2009 to 2011 she lived in Hanoi, Vietnam, and returned in 2012 on a Robert Pinsky Global Fellowship after receiving her MFA in poetry from Boston University. Most recently, her work has been nominated for Best of the Net 2014, and… Continue reading The Untranslatables: Kelly Morse


The following post by Alex Niemi is the first in a series entitled “Origin Stories.”  Alex is our associate editor.     My mother’s good friend Bonny once told me that I became interested in languages when I heard her blithely chatting in Mandarin at Hunan Spring with Uncle Peter.  This was a favorite restaurant… Continue reading ORIGIN STORIES: ALEX NIEMI

The Untranslatables: Lucas Klein

The following contribution from Lucas Klein is our first post in a blog series we’re calling “The Untranslatables.” Klein was awarded the Lucien Stryk Prize in 2013 for his translation of Xi Chuan’s Notes On the Mosquito: Selected Poems, which he discusses here:    there is a crowd of commoners as purple as red cabbage—the line, from my… Continue reading The Untranslatables: Lucas Klein

Excerpts: Foreign Words

Last week, World Literature Today named the AHB book Foreign Words one of “25 Books that Inspired the World.” The novel by Vassilis Alexakis was translated by Alyson Waters, who we interviewed in the latest issue of M-Dash. It’s a beautiful novel, filled with smart, insightful ruminations on language and on the small eureka moments that come sometimes when learning… Continue reading Excerpts: Foreign Words

M-Blog is born

Non-translators, it seems, are forever fascinated by this notion of the untranslatable word. There are web sites dedicated to listing words that just won’t cross linguistic or cultural boundaries. And then, recently, this article in The Guardian came out claiming to debunk the notion entirely. In “12 untranslatable words (and their translations),” David Shariatmadari sets… Continue reading M-Blog is born