Rika Lesser

133 Henry Street, #5Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 
(718) 852-1163, (917) 608-6320
Website: 
www.rikalesser.com

Author's Bio

I have been translating poetry from German or Swedish nearly as long as I have been writing poetry in English. I have also turned my attention to form abstractly and concretely through the practice of tai chi chuan and by becoming a certified Feldenkrais® practitioner. A new adventure for me has been co-translating poetry from the Greek of Kiki Dimoula (see "Prizes Won" below). I have recently finished translating a Swedish novel by Elisabeth Rynell. Interesting to lose words for a while, and to find them again, in whichever languages or forms.

Publications and Prizes

Book

All We Need of Hell
(University of North Texas Press,
1995)
Etruscan Things
(Braziller,
1983)
Growing Back
(University of South Carolina Press,
1997)
Questions of Love: New and Selected Poems
(Sheep Meadow Press,
2008)
Mozart's Third Brain by Göran Sonnevi
(Yale University Press,
2009)
A Child Is Not a Knife by Göran Sonnevi
(Princeton University Press,
1993)
Rilke: Between Roots
(Princeton University Press,
1986)
Siddhartha: An Indic Poem by Hermann Hesse
(Barnes & Noble Publishing,
2007)

Journal

New Republic
2014)
Threepenny Review
2014)
Paris Review
2014)
The New Yorker
2014)
Poetry
2014)
Literary Imagination
2014)
Ploughshares
2014)
Pleiades
Prizes: 
Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship (1974). Ingram-Merrill Foundation Poetry Writing Grant (1978). Landon Poetry Translation Prize from the Academy of American Poets for <i>Guide to the Underworld</i> by Gunnar Ekelöf (1982). Poetry Translation Prize from the Swedish Academy (1996). Fulbright Senior Scholar Award (1999). Two National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowships for Translation (2001, poetry; 2013 fiction). Yaddo Fellowship (2001). Twice the Translation Prize of the American-Scandinavian Foundation for selections of poetry by Göran Sonnevi (1992, 2002). The Greek National Translation Prize (2014) with Cecile Inglessis Margellos for <i>The Brazen Plagiarist: Selected Poems</i> by Kiki Dimoula.

More Information

Listed as:
Poet
Gives readings? 
Yes
Travels for readings? 
Yes
Prefers to work with: 
Adults, Any
Fluent in: 
Swedish
Born in: 
Brooklyn, NY
Raised in: 
Brooklyn, NY

Personal Favorites

What I'm Reading Now:
The Elusive Obvious by Moshe Feldenkrais, Taijiquan: The Art of Nurturing, The Science of Power by Yang Yang, Ph.D, a place to live by Natalia Ginzburg; Lynne Sharon Schhwart, tr., Bok Utom Namn by Göran Sonnevi

Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Listing last updated: May 5, 2014.

Current Issue

Cover Story 

Our Independent Publishing Issue features an in-depth interview with Graywolf Press editor Jeff Shotts; a look at the successful partnerships of eleven small-press authors and their editors; a profile of indie essayist Charles D'Ambrosio; Donald Hall recalls a golden age of American poetry; best-selling author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore on the rewards of self-promotion; advice for self-published authors; a conversation with Guernica publisher Lisa Lucas; and much more.

Finding Gems in Lost & Found

by Rebecca Bates

News and Trends

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

The Center for Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City is making the ephemeral more tangible through its Lost & Found chapbook series.

More

Let's Just Do This: Eleven Small-Press Authors and their Publishing Partners

by Kevin Larimer

Special Section

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

Eleven small-press authors and their publishing partners discuss the independent approach—and all the passion, commitment, and love that comes with it—to bringing books into the world.

More

Agents & Editors: Jeff Shotts

by Michael Szczerban

Special Section

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

Graywolf Press executive editor Jeff Shotts discusses the power of patience in publishing, editing as an act of empathy, and why it’s an exciting time to be a poet.

More