Ends on January 27, 2019

The Poetry of Translation

Translation, rooted in the Latin translātus (to carry over), springs from the vital and creative drive to bear something across borderlands and far distances. This process of transporting a displaced object is also one of remolding: in the carrying, the object takes on new textures and layers. In this workshop, participants will consider how studying literary translations can enliven, recharge, and deepen their work, and ask what they can glean from approaching all poetry as a fundamental act of translation. In addition to regular workshopping of poems, participants will also read and compare literary translations, and try a hand at translating different mediums—artwork, dance, film, music—into poetry. Knowledge of a second language is not required for this workshop, as this is not a literary translation workshop in the traditional sense.

Jenny Xie is the author of Eye Level (Graywolf Press), finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry, and recipient of the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets and the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University. Her work has appeared in Poetry, New York Times Magazine, New Republic, and Tin House, among other publications, and she has been supported by fellowships from Kundiman, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and Poets & Writers. She is on faculty at New York University and lives in New York.

This is a tuition-free workshop, funded by The Jerome Foundation.

Guidelines: The instructor will review applications and select up to 15 participants, with preference given to individuals who have attended fewer than three workshops.   Participants should bring 16 copies of an original poem to the first meeting. 


Deadline to submit: January 27, 2019 at 11:59 pm. All applicants will be notified by February 7, 2019.

Dates: Thursdays, 6-9 pm. February 21, 28; March 7, 14, 21; April 4, 18, 25; May 2; Culminating Reading: Tuesday, May 9, 6:30 - 8:30 pm.

Where: Cave Canem Foundation 20 Jay Street, Suite 310-A, Brooklyn, NY

Who's eligible:

  • Adult poets of color living in New York City’s five boroughs.
  • Individuals who are not enrolled full-time in a degree-granting program.
  • Individuals who are not Cave Canem fellows.
  • Writers who have not published more than one collection of poetry with a commercial press.

Please note:  This is a 10 week commitment; if you anticipate absence from more than 2 sessions, please do not apply!

To Apply:

Please upload a document including: 

  • Maximum of 5 pages of poems (no more than one poem per page) written in any style.
  • Include your name on every page.
  • Single page cover letter that includes the following information, if applicable:
    1. Cave Canem workshops you’ve attended, including instructor and year. 
    2. Previous publications and poetry prizes
    3. One-two sentences maximum about what you wish to accomplish in the workshop

By submitting your application, you agree to the aforementioned terms of eligibility and commit to attending all ten sessions.


Contact Elizabeth Bryant at 718.858.0000 or ebryant@ccpoets.org.