June 22, 2021
The New York Public Library’s first World Literature Festival included a recent conversation with University of Arizona Press author Urayoán Noel, as well as fellow poet Dunya Mikhail with NYPL librarians Grace Yamada and Leanna Frankland. In the panel discussion, Languages of Poetry, the poets discussed poetry in translation, their writing process, and other poets they look up to.
Noel’s new poetry collection, Transversal, seeks to disrupt standard English and Spanish, and it celebrates the nonequivalence between languages. Inspired by Caribbean poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant, the collection celebrates Caribbean practices of creolization as maximalist, people-centered, affect-loaded responses to the top-down violence of austerity politics. This groundbreaking, modular approach to poetic translation opens up alternative ways of reading in any language.