Norman MacAfee


New York, NY 10011-8692

Author's Bio

Norman MacAfee is a writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and performance work; he is also literary translator, visual and sound artist, and freelance book editor. Three books of poetry, including “One Class: Selected Poems 1965-2008.” Readings at Le Poisson Rouge, ABC No Rio, MOMA, Public Theater, New York Public Library Yorkville and Webster branches, Yale, Columbia, and New School. His opera to music of Charles Ives, "The Death of the Forest," is in pre-production. MacAfee's drawings, for  Helen Adam's ballad opera "San Francisco's Burning," are published in Jacket2. MacAfee's book, "The Gospel According to RFK," is about Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign. The Robert F. Kennedy Center asked MacAfee to speak in November 2005 at a celebration in the US Capitol of what would have been RFK’s 80th birthday. Other speakers included Senators Edward Kennedy, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Representatives Nancy Pelosi and John Lewis, and Harry Belafonte. MacAfee read a poem written for the occasion, which was later included in “One Class.” It can be seen in the C-Span video below. MacAfee's co-translation of “Les Miserables” is the only complete modern American version and in 2016 sold its millionth copy. His other books include his co-translations of “Poems: Pier Paolo Pasolini” and two volumes of Jean-Paul Sartre’s letters to Simone de Beauvoir, "Witness to My Life" and "Quiet Moments in a War.". He lives in Greenwich Village with Dr. Miguel Cervantes-Cervantes.


Publications & Prizes

One Class: Selected Poems 1965-2008 (Harbor Mountain Press, 2008)
The Coming of Fascism to America (Bowery Poetry Club, 2006)
The Death of the Forest, opera (Stichtung Beppie Blankert Dansconcerten, 2004)
The Gospel According to RFK: Why It Matters Now (Basic Books, 2004)
A New Requiem (Cheap Review Press, 1988)
Christopher Street
Cipher Journal
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Huffington Post
Little Magazine
Omega: Online Literary Journal
Paris Review
The World
Prizes won: 

NEA and Florence Gould FDN grants for translating Sartre's letters. PEN Poggioli/Weaver award for translating Pasolini's poems.

More Information

Gives readings: 
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Raised in: 
Brookline and Villanova, PA
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Last update: Feb 02, 2021