Rika Lesser

Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 852-1163, (917) 608-6320

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

A Child Is Not a Knife by Göran Sonnevi
(Princeton University Press, 1993)
, All We Need of Hell
(University of North Texas Press, 1995)
, Etruscan Things
(Braziller, 1983)
, Growing Back
(University of South Carolina Press, 1997)
, Mozart's Third Brain by Göran Sonnevi
(Yale University Press, 2009)
, Questions of Love: New and Selected Poems
(Sheep Meadow Press, 2008)
, Rilke: Between Roots
(Princeton University Press, 1986)
, Siddhartha: An Indic Poem by Hermann Hesse
(Barnes & Noble Publishing, 2007)
Literary Imagination, New Republic, Paris Review, Pleiades, Ploughshares, Poetry, New Yorker, Threepenny Review
Prizes Won: 
Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholarship (1974). Ingram-Merrill Foundation Poetry Writing Grant (1978). Landon Poetry Translation Prize from the Academy of American Poets for Guide to the Underworld 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 The Brazen Plagiarist: Selected Poems by Kiki Dimoula.

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

More Information

Listed as: 
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Travels for readings: 
Prefers to work with: 
Adults, Any
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Raised in: 
Brooklyn, NY
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last updated: May 05, 2014