Christine Kitano Recommends...

“When I’m managing to write regularly, I always have a collection of poems in translation on my desk. I’ll usually begin a writing session by reading a few poems from the collection and copying out the lines that speak to me. Then, I’ll re-organize those lines into a new poem, editing the lines or improvising my own language. During this process, I usually stumble upon a new phrase or image, which I’ll then use as the starter for a new draft. I often sense distance in a translated poem, and it is precisely this distance that frees me to experiment with the language. When I was finishing my most recent collection, I read through Seed in Snow (BOA Editions, 2016) by the Latvian poet Knuts Skujenieks (translated by Bitite Vinklers) and Remnants of Another Age (BOA Editions, 2011) by the Macedonian poet Nikola Madzirov (translated by Peggy Reid, Graham W. Reid, Magdalena Horvat, and Adam Reed). These poets write from experiences vastly different from my own, and this allowed me to experiment with voices and stances. Then, I revised and revised until I started to sound like myself again.”
— Christine Kitano, author of Sky Country (BOA Editions, 2017)

Photo credit: Tyrell Stewart-Harris