translated by Baz Martin Gibbons
Special Guest Judge Shook
“Baz Martin Gibbons’s translations of Brazilian Modernist Murilo Mendes’ short lyric poems resonate with the same doubt, nostalgia, and wonder as the Portuguese originals. These are crisp, confident translations, with clear attention paid to rhythm and pacing, without ever sacrificing the visual acuity of Mendes’ core imagery, often grounded in the human experience of childhood or (a)religious epiphany. The new English-language renderings offer a front-row seat to Brazil’s nascent Surrealism, and introduce English-language readers to a poet thoroughly deserving of translation.”
Shook is a poet, translator, and editor whose work has spanned a wide range of languages and places. Winner of the 2021 Words Without Borders-Academy of American Poets Poems in Translation Contest for their work with poet Conceição Lima of São Tomé and Príncipe, their most recent translations include the Mexican experimentalist Mario Bellatin’s Beauty Salon and the exiled Sudanese poet Al-Saddiq Al-Raddi’s forthcoming In a Friend’s Kitchen, co-translated with Bryar Bajalan. Shook’s writing has appeared in Poetry, World Literature Today, the Guardian, and many other publications, as well as being translated into more than a dozen languages, including Isthmus Zapotec, Kurdish, and Uyghur. Since founding Phoneme Media in 2013, Shook has edited and published translations from over 35 languages. Today they direct Kashkul Books, a publishing project based in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, as well as the translation-focused imprint avión, at Gato Negro Ediciones in Mexico City.