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Mammas, Mares, Mères & Mutters: Mother’s Day Around the World

This Mother’s Day, the PEN America Translation Committee joins KGB’s Sunday Night Fiction Reading Series for a reading featuring several writers and translators who will read from international works of literature, each focusing in their own way on motherhood. 

Mary Ann Newman will read from Private Life by Josep Maria de Sagarra

Vivian O’Shaughnessy will read from Woman I Am by Giovanni Dotoli

Michael F. Moore will read from Lost Words by Nicola Gardini

Sophie Seita and Uljana Wolf will read from i mean i dislike that fate that i was made to where by Uljana Wolf


Mary Ann Newman is the Director of the Farragut Fund for Catalan culture in the U.S. She is a translator, editor, and occasional writer on Catalan culture. She has translated a novel and a short story collection by Quim Monzó, essays by Xavier Rubert de Ventós, and a collection of poems by Josep Carner. Her latest translation is Private Life, a Catalan classic by Josep Maria de Sagarra, published by Archipelago Books.

Vivian O’Shaughnessy’s designed, authored, handmade books (which include French, Spanish and hand Braille translations) are in many collections, including the Louvre, Centre George Pompidou, BNF-Mitterand, and the World Arab Institute in Paris; the Southbank Centre Poetry in London; the Xul Solar Museum in Buenos Aires; and the Cultural Center in Quito, as well as the Library of Congress, MOMA, the Morgan Library, the New York Public Library, and Pratt Art Institute.

Michael F. Moore is a translator/interpreter from the Italian. He has translated both contemporary and classic works, including, most recently, Lost Words, by Nicola Gardini (New Directions, 2016), The Drowned and the Saved, by Primo Levi (Liveright, 2015), Agostino, by Alberto Moravia (NYRB Classics, 2014), and Live Bait, by Fabio Genovesi (Other Press, 2014). He is currently working on a new translation of the 19th-century classic, The Betrothed, by Alessandro Manzoni (Modern Library, 2017).

Sophie Seita is a poet, translator, and scholar. She is the author of Meat (Little Red Leaves, 2015), Fantasias in Counting (BlazeVOX, 2014), 12 Steps (Wide Range, 2012), and i mean i dislike that fate that i was made to where (Wonder, 2015, a translation from the German of Uljana Wolf, which won the Second Wonder Book Prize). She received a 2015 PEN/Heim Award to translate Wolf’s selected poems, forthcoming from Belladonna in 2017, and is currently editing a reprint of The Blind Man (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017). Her videos and poets’ theatre pieces have been presented in the US, UK, Ireland, and Germany. Sophie Seita’s academic research focuses on avant-garde little magazines, small-press publishing, print history, and experimental autobiography from the 18th to the 21st century. She is the recipient of awards and scholarships from Yale, Princeton, Cambridge, Columbia, Queen Mary University of London, SUNY Buffalo, DAAD, Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, among others. From October 2016, she will be a Junior Research Fellow at Queens’ College, Cambridge.

Uljana Wolf, born in 1979 in Berlin, lives and works in Berlin and Brooklyn. She has published three volumes of poetry, kochanie ich habe brot gekauft (2005), falsche freunde (2009), and Meine schönste Lengevitch (2013) as well as the essay BOX OFFICE (2010) and a joint sonnet erasure project with Christian Hawkey, Sonne From Ort (2012). Among the English-language poets she has translated into German are Matthea Harvey, Erín Moure, John Asbery, Yoko Ono, and Cole Swensen. Her own work has been translated into more than thirteen languages. She has received numerous prizes for her literary works and translations, including the Peter Huchel Prize and the Adalbert-von-Chamisso Prize. Wolf teaches German and literary translation at New York University and the Pratt Institute.

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