Browsing Category



An Unruled Body by Ani Gjika

By Ani Gjika

In Albania in the nineties … men in their twenties and thirties are hungry to align themselves with what they perceive as power … harassing girls and women wherever…

Barcode by Krisztina Tóth

Translated by Peter Sherwood

Miklós was no longer a real being, just a sender of letters with news not from real life but rather as evidence of some sophisticated fiction, as if he were writing to and for himself, to prove that the body that existed in her imagination was not just a doppelgänger of her desires.

The Ukraine by Artem Chapeye

Translated by Zenia Tompkins

You’re…moved by the welcoming calm and serenity of provincial Ukraine…suddenly you realize that from under a kiosk…the barrel of a machine gun is aimed at your chest.

To the Letter by Tomasz Różycki

Translated by Mira Rosenthal

that color once existed here. And dust gets in./ The nests of ants and mice now totally exposed./ A moving out, an exodus. This once was home./ Once light and heat and fire. Now so much wind.

The Plural Island by Gesualdo Bufalino

Translated by Julia Conrad

For a Sicilian, understanding Sicily means understanding oneself. It means choosing to be absolved or condemned. And it means resolving the fundamental tension that plagues us, the oscillation between claustrophobia and claustrophilia, between a hatred and love of seclusion.

Kinderland: A Novel by Liliana Corobca

Translated by Monica Cure

Our house has become a shelter for kids whose parents beat them. Everyone knows we’re home alone, because we’re almost never visited by an old person, I mean an adult.


Eastbound by Maylis de Kerangal

Translated by Jessica Moore

Next come the irreversible rails, laying out the countryside, unfolding, unfolding, unfolding Russia, pressing on between latitudes 50° N and 60° N, and the guys who grow sticky in the wagons, scalps pale beneath the tonsure, temples glistening with sweat, and among them Aliocha, twenty years old.



Two Poems by Pierre Haroche

By Pierre Haroche

When the world was young / Places did not exist / Earth heaven ocean / Stood side by side / In every direction / Humans lived all together…

Bathhouse and Other Tanka by Tatsuhiko Ishii

Translated by Hiroaki Sato

The green of the cypresses being so dark. . . . The island of death, is, that, the island of poets? / The noble (poet’s) fury. Just when the evening glow enwraps the world in darkness

Tribar by Andra Rotaru

Translated by Anca Roncea

on the first day we were met by a dying child. basking in the sun, sitting
on a manhole cover. around, there were three other children: one with
a torn eye, one with dermatitis and an ear torn off and another very
pale, soaked in blood.

Commander of the River by Ubah Cristina Ali Farah

Translated by Hope Campbell Gustafson

When I ask my mother what happened to my father, she says that there’s been war in our country for fifteen years and as far as she knows he could be dead. She says it with a coldness that upsets me, so I immediately stop asking questions.

The Trousseau by Samina H. Bakhsh

By Samina Hussain

It suddenly occurred to her that the tawa had been wrapped in a red and white cloth when it made its first journey to England with her all those years ago.

Five Poems by Salvador Espriu

Translated by Sonia Alland and Richard Jeffrey Newman

To save me from the sea, / perhaps a verse, / perhaps some clear words, / are all I have. / Their value / is my entire life.



Ada’s Realm by Sharon Dodua Otoo

Translated by Jon Cho-Polizzi

The women of Totope treated Ada as though she had emerged from Mami Ashitey’s own loins. In their eyes, her daily floggings were glowing proof of familiarity and love.

Two Poems by Teemu Helle

Translated by Niina Pollari

That spring you met with national mourning, and your capital turned gray. / You looked at your spouse in the coffin and understood

Victorious by Yishai Sarid

Translated by Yardenne Greenspan

Shauli came home that weekend. I was astonished when he appeared in the doorway with his uniform and rifle. I hadn’t seen him in two weeks…

Wolfskin by Lara Moreno

Translated by Katie Whittemore

There is a small plastic horse in the corner of the modest fenced-in yard. It looks like it’s been there for eternity, yet it’s not actually old. That particular corner is the only part of the yard that has been conserved as a garden, that wasn’t sealed with cement and tile and made into a patio.

Brothers and Ghosts by Khuê Phạm

Translated by Imogen Taylor

Let me start this story with a confession: I can’t pronounce my own name. For as far back as I can remember, I have felt uncomfortable introducing myself to people.

A Strange Woman by Leylâ Erbil

Translated by Nermin Menemencioğlu

My mother was on a rampage again today. My father’s been fired, she carried on endlessly about it. “He crosses swords with the bosses, talks back to them, as if there’s some mansion…

The Movement by Petra Hůlová

Translated by Alex Zucker

I had a suitcase, that’s it. My mother’s old suitcase with wheels, the one she used to take with her jetting around the Old World for work, till the doctor made her stop flying.

Cremation by Rafael Chirbes

Translated by Valerie Miles

The sudden commotion, the sound of the motor, they displace you, leaving me alone; I concentrate on the movement of my hands now, gripping the wheel…

The Memory Monster by Yishai Sarid

Translated by Yardenne Greenspan

I returned to Sobibor to dig. Really dig, with a hoe, and with my hands, on my knees, mining for bits of bone, collecting pins and buttons left behind by the dead.

Stranger to the Moon by Evelio Rosero

Translated by Victor Meadowcroft and Anne McLean

Mothers stay with their children during the first years, and then, when the children can — apparently — defend themselves, they release them, they cast them into the naked tumult, and forget them. I’ve seen mothers who despair at having to provide for their children, letting out huge yawns while contemplating them.

Among the Hedges by Sara Mesa

Translated by Megan McDowell

She started to feel bad when her brother left. Her brother said he loved her, but it wasn’t true, because he left unapol-ogetically, claiming that he had to go. Had to?

Four Minutes by Nataliya Deleva

Translated by Izidora Angel

Naya and I have been living together since we were born. First in the Home, then in the attic room we shared in the Reduta neighborhood. She was given up for adoption as a three-day-old baby.

Novel 11, Book 18 by Dag Solstad

Translated by Sverre Lyngstad

This was how Bjørn Hansen’s existence had shaped up. This was his life. At Kongsberg. With Turid Lammers, this woman he had to live with because he feared he would otherwise regret

In Concrete by Anne F. Garréta

Translated by Emma Ramadan

Concrete’s no job for sissies. Maybe that’s why our father decided, soon as we were old enough, my little sis and I, to educate us in cement, concrete, and casing.


From Nowhere to Nowhere by Bekim Sejranović

Translated by Will Firth

Now, a year and a half after Alijas funeral, I stood in the courtyard in front of the house where I grew up. I tried to sing Morrisseys Late Night, Maudlin Street” in my head…

In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova

Translated by Sasha Dugdale

I must have been about twelve. I was hunting around for some-thing interesting to look at. There was plenty of interesting stuff: with every death a pile of new objects appeared in our apartment, deposited just as they were, trapped in a sudden end state, because their previous owner, the only person who could have freed them, was no longer among the living.

An Inventory of Losses

By Judith Schalansky

In the evening they are hungry and restless. No meat for days. No hunting since they themselves were captured. Instincts worn down by captivity until they lie bare like gnawed bones.

Allegria by Giuseppe Ungaretti

Translated by Geoffrey Brock

Behold a uniform man / behold a desert soul / an impassive mirror for the world / Sometimes I wake and join forces and possess / The rare good that grows

Count Luna by Alexander Lernet-Holenia

Translated by Jane B. Greene

His path led him first through sparse woods where the tall grass, interspersed with clumps and clusters of gentians, came up above his knees, then over upland pastures.

Jean-Luc Persecuted by C.F. Ramuz

Translated by Olivia Baes

[The fog] had taken shape little by little, rising from the bottom of the gorge like water does in a basin. Strangled between boulders, the great rumble of water filled the air…

Four by Four by Sara Mesa

Translated by Katie Whittemore

In any case, the woods are forbidden. Supposedly, they’re dangerous. Not because of animals or the rough terrain, but the possibility of vagabonds, thieves, terrorists: people who want to blow up what this world is becoming.

Girls Lost by Jessica Schiefauer

Translated by Saskia Vogel

My body clung to me like something foreign—a sticky, itchy rubber suit; but no matter how much I scratched and scraped at it, it was where it was.

The Teacher by Michal Ben-Naftali

Translated by Daniella Zamir

The sidewalk was cleansed of the blood. Rivers of rain, water hoses, and street sweepers joined forces to scrub the surface after the last remnant was removed.

All My Cats by Bohumil Hrabal

Translated by Paul Wilson

And sure enough, Blackie stopped paying attention to me, and then she began clawing at me and I had to take a rag, and then a blanket, and hold her down.

Ten Poems by Marie Lundquist

Translated by Kristina Andersson Bicher

I searched for a climbing tree / to fall out of. You were stepping / right into grief. Your errand  / was to be overgrown. Become grief. / Cold grief. I fell. Soft / as an apple.


The Incompletes by Sergio Chejfec

Translated by Heather Cleary

The characteristic scent of Buenos Aires, a mix of aquatic plants and the local soil, which—as many have told me and I’ve also read—still filters through the streets on the breeze, was an incipient aroma slowly rising off the river to form waves of disparate and paradoxically incomplete smells that morning, probably due to the hour.

The Diaries of Lea Goldberg

Translated by Tsipi Keller

A pointless day in Brindisi. A terrible fatigue. Pain in my gut, and I fear that I’ll be sick throughout the trip. I’m now sitting in a restaurant…

Five Poems by Maia Evrona

By Maia Evrona

Daughter of Atlas and mother of Hermes: / Daughter of the world sustained / on the sweat of a back in pain; / mother of a word with wings on its feet.

Six Poems by Ágnes Gergely

Translated by Ottilie Mulzet

The crooked street darkens / the city’s diseased lungs. / Drags to its entrance gates / the one unafraid of the heavens.

The Boy by Marcus Malte

Translated by Emma Ramadan and Tom Roberge

Four years, or nearly. The next four years of the boy’s life, which will be the most beautiful, the most marvelous. The trees were nothing. The elms and the planes and the chestnuts…

My Friends by Emmanuel Bove

Translated by Janet Louth

It seems to me that the people sitting at tables on the terraces notice me in spite of my shabby clothes. Once a woman sitting behind a tiny tea-pot eyed me from head to foot.

City of Jasmine by Olga Grjasnowa

Translated by Katy Derbyshire

Once tall and slim, Bassel’s body is no longer immune to time’s passing – his hair has gone grey but at least it hasn’t fallen out like most of his contemporaries’, his belly has grown soft and visibly convex, and his back is no longer strong and straight. A slipped disc a year ago came as a rude reminder of advancing age.

Binstead’s Safari

By Rachel Ingalls

They were already weighed down by an emotion that made for even greater lassitude — a kind of inertia, intermittently broken by irritable indecisiveness.

Last Night in Nuuk by Niviaq Korneliussen

Translated by Anna Halager

Oh, my head. I let out a deep sigh and smell alcohol. My stomach roils and I heave my body out of bed, go to the bathroom. Shit, my head is about to explode. I still feel drunk. My eyes won’t focus and my legs aren’t working right. I kick the clothes I dumped on the floor because they block my way and I walk five long metres to the bathroom, my hand over my mouth.

Marble by Amalie Smith

Translated by Jennifer Russell

Daniel found her in the ground. He dug her free and brushed off the dirt. He joined the pieces, logged the pigment traces: how they were distributed across her clothes and her skin.

The Birds by Vladimir Poleganov

Translated by Peter Bachev

If she just looks long and hard enough through the grimy pane of the southern window, she is sure to see one of them returning to its nest. That’s what she’s been told…

The Wedding Party by Jonida Prifti

Translated by Diana Thow

The only illusion is that there’s a road to follow to an end: the hallway inhabits a closed door hourly. The mystery of a dark legend buried inside a tunnel where children grow into adult visions.

Two Poems by Monika Herceg

Translated by Mirza Purić

Under a stolen car the world will shrink down to a single truth, and then I’ll encourage / the bullet I’d spat out into your lung.

Five Poems by Marko Tomaš

Translated by Rachael Daum

Someday it will be enough. / I’ll write a poem, / the words will spill all over your street / and you’ll slip / and fall straight into my arms my shackles / they’re learning to be gentle / by way of drunkenness,

Four Poems by Sylvia Beato-Davis

By Sylvia Beato-Davis

sleep without touching & in the morning, you ask what is the matter., but nothing is ever the matter until the tea kettle struggles to sing. i dig to remember the ardor of dreamlife, putting the wrapped stick of butter near the flame to melt.

Under Pressure by Faruk Šehić

Translated by Mirza Purić

They’ve brought us to the front line. Mud and fog everywhere. I can barely see the man in front of me. We almost hold onto each other’s belts lest we get lost. We pass between burning houses. The file trudges on along rickety fences. The mud sticks to our boots, stretches like dough.

The Females by Wolfgang Hilbig

Translated by Isabel Fargo Cole

It was hot, a damp hot hell, sweat emerged from all my pores. I began excreting smells, how strange, as though something within me were starting to mold, an extraordinary fromage, as though I smelled of my eyeballs, which bulged and welled with what seemed a sort of slime, a turbidity likely rising up from my loins, a twinge from the groin that brushed my heart, stinging; it dug slowly into my brain, but I hadn’t felt its onset.

American Fictionary by Dubravka Ugresic

Translated by Celia Hawkesworth and Ellen Elias-Bursac

My mother collects other people’s deaths, rattling them mournfully like coins in a piggy bank. “Did you know Petrović died?” asks Mother over the phone.

The Governesses by Anne Serre

Translated by Mark Hutchinson

And to think he’d expected them to rally round at the first puff of smoke from his cigar! That, whatever the circumstance, whatever the temptations, it was to him they would turn, him they would support with their powerful young love.

The Cheese Story

By Olga Sezneva

I check myself in the mirror one last time. Black sweater, high neck, navy blue pants that you won’t see under my long apron. Dark-frame glasses. City smart, I’d say, no different from that mevrouw I saw selling gloves in E*.

The Condition of Secrecy: Essays by Inger Christensen

Translated by Susanna Nied

When I was nine years old, the world too was nine years old. At least there was no difference between us, no opposition, no distance. We just tumbled around from sunrise to sunset, earth and body as like as two pennies. And there was never a harsh word between us, for the simple reason that there were no words at all between us; we never uttered a word to each other, the world and I.

Making Spain Great Again

By Layla Benitez-James

I wanted to unequivocally condemn police violence while simultaneously feeling a knee jerk aversion to any movement working under a shared idea of nationalism.

Middlemost Constantine

By Ken White

I forget nothing / think of a curse / triple it and still / you’re nowhere near / all braids evenly divided / from earth

Imaginary Explosions

By Caitlin Berrigan

Even an entirety must have an edge. Just as the continents drifted before, leaving a line against water: California.

Hunting Party by Agnès Desarthe

Translated by Christiana Hills

This isn’t exactly how Tristan tells his story to Dumestre. He doesn’t tell him everything. He doesn’t use words like “stammer” or “arrogance.”


By Sverrir Norland

Just then, my old man came rushing in through the door, a violent storm of red flesh and graying hair. He sent out a deep, satisfied grumble when he spotted me, then proceeded to waddle across the room like a giant duck.

The Storm by Tomás González

Translated by Andrea Rosenberg

Javier eyed his father’s invulnerable back as the old man, sitting up in the bow, received the morning full on his face. His father was skinnier and shorter than Javier, and he was wearing a polo shirt that had started out red but had long since faded.

Geography of Rebels by Maria Gabriela Llansol

Translated by Audrey Young

in that place there was a woman who did not want to have children from her womb. She asked the men to bring her their wives’ children
so she could educate them in a large house…

Three Poems from The Exeter Book

Translated by Gnaomi Siemens

All over the earth are countless creatures we can never know. / Wherever water encircles the world’s bright breast, legions /
of land-roving beasts, huge swarms of birds, crowd against / the roaring surf, the surge of the salty waves.

The Bottom of the Sky by Rodrigo Fresán

Translated by Will Vanderhyden

My mother—known as “Fair Sarah”—died during the great influenza epidemic, when I was less than a year old. I got sick too. And against all prognoses, condemned by the doctors, I survived, and no one dared call it miracle

The Shutters by Ahmed Bouanani

Translated by Emma Ramadan

In an angel’s bed in a wool dress she sleeps / The house is cold the walls white like a dream / motionless death takes a seat / and for two weeks awaits the end of the temporary peace

She Is Angry by Maja Lee Langvad

Translated by Katrine Øgaard Jensen

She is angry about being an export. She is angry that adoption agencies in sending as well as receiving countries make money off transnational adoption.

Red by Helena Österlund

Translated by Paul Cunningham

The wolf is so small / The wolf is so very small / I see the wolf die / I don’t know what to do / I see that the wolf is on the ground / I see the wolf die / I stand beside the wolf

The Easiness and the Loneliness by Asta Olivia Nordenhof

Translated by Susanna Nied

my fathers mother kept smoking after her stroke / one side of her face was paralyzed / she could just barely hold her lips together, they werent airtight / it must have affected the strength of her smokes / i think now

Four Poems by Elías Knörr

Translated by Meg Matich

I invited the biologist into my back garden / he marveled at the lightbulbs / and took to dancing like a night moth

The Paris Syndrome by Heidi Furre

Translated by Julia Johanne Tolo

This is the globe. It’s blue, with green, orange, and yellow sections. Sometimes pink or red. It turns in the dark, and has two white spots. The North Pole and the South Pole. If you want to leave the globe you have to send an application to somewhere like NASA, and you’ll need to be good at physics, math, and chemistry.

27: or, Death Makes the Artist by Alexandra Salmela

Translated by Niina Pollari

She believes she’s very happy. She tells herself that a loving husband, three beautiful children, a red granny cottage in an idyllic countryside setting, and a newish Opel station wagon in the yard is exactly what she’s always wanted.

Starlings by Solrún Michelsen

Translated by Kerri Pierce

Truth to tell, I’ve always thought that, when it comes to the animal kingdom, starlings are the creatures that most resemble humans. Could be that’s just wishful thinking.

Excerpt from Oneiron by Laura Lindstedt

Translated by Owen Witesman

Imagine you are partially blind. Minus eleven diopters. Imagine a dark exam room at an optometrist’s office. You’re sitting in a comfortable leather chair, afraid you’ll lose your sight entirely. You’ve carefully placed your old glasses on the table. The plastic rims, electric-blue ten years ago, are scuffed now.

The Nationsoul of My Dear Jon by Birkir Blær

Translated by Meg Matich

The most preposterous figure in Icelandic folklore is the indomitable wife of My Dear Jon who travels to the kingdom of heaven with the soul of her husband in a sack, to smuggle him into Paradise; she’s a woman who slings insults at the saints and slut shames the Virgin Mary before Jesus Christ himself arrives at the gates of heaven to bid her, with ceremonious tact, to get lost.

“Ode to Sadness” by Ghayath Almadhoun

Translated by Catherine Cobham

We love you, Europe. We love your art and hate your colonialist history, love your theatre and hate your concentration camps, love your music and hate the sound of your bombs

Three Poems by Friða Ísberg

Translated by Meg Matich

wet paper / tangled in birch branches / inside the window, smoking, / a woman with red hair / says to herself: / they can’t hear me anymore

Wingbeats by Shadi Angelina Bazeghi

Translated by Katrine Øgaard Jensen

Rain clouds and fox traces / newly-fledged birds / a pair of rotten cherries hitting the ground / an inevitable detachment, a dry release

T. U. V. by Zeshan Shakar

Translated by David M. Smith

I kept my mouth shut and realized that Stovner was a very small place, and Tante Ulrikkes vei even smaller. I realized that in Stovner, people lived in houses on one side and housing on the other, and that the two were nothing alike, something that held true for Oslo just as much as the rest of the world.

Elín, Misc. by Kristín Eiríksdóttir

Translated by Larissa Kyzer

My hands get no cleaner than an old bathtub. My fingernails are all clipped as short as possible, but the chemicals have managed to claw their way through the dead skin, into the bone. As if there’s no enamel.

Nine Poems by Tanella Boni

Translated by Todd Fredson

I dream the poem of a borderless sea / I dance a welcoming music in my skin / first ground for any home / while the hands of plenty the portly souls / weave their barbed wire

Saving Agu’s Wife

By Chika Unigwe

But suffering is not without its lessons. Here, she has learned thrift. Not the thriftiness of her mother back home in Nigeria who bargains for palm oil until she gets a good price, and boasts.

Four poems by Léopold Sedar Senghor

Translated by Baba Badji

Here is the Sun/ Which tightens the breasts of the virgins/ Who makes the old men smile on the green benches/ Who would awaken the dead under a maternal earth.

Lalana by Michèle Rakotoson

Translated by Allison M. Charette

You cannot walk fast in Antananarivo. There’s a weight in the air, a heat that makes everything slow and viscous. There’s a constant small of noxious gas, an acid odor that gets into your lungs, infests your muscles. There’s the red dust, blackened by exhaust fumes, and the perpetual suffocation of the city, so precariously perched, so dry.

Jujube by Ubah Cristina Ali Farah

Translated by Hope Campbell Gustafson

Mama built our house with flamboyant tree branches and braids of palms, mixing a paste of resin, dung and red sand to protect us from water and from the monsoons.

A Prose-Poem Series by Vincent Broqua

Translated by Cole Swensen

They have the extreme, soft, palpable, tangible sensation of glimmering each with his neck plunged in a basin of water, made artificial, they look at each other, clearly apt to scurry off, they know nothing of each other, to scrutinize, they possess the fragile, fluttering, heightened, exclamatory sensation of being able to leave at any moment, whenever they want

Fox by Dubravka Ugrešić

Translated by Ellen Elias-Bursać and David Williams

Marlene was Polish (in age she could have been my daughter) and she occasionally cleaned my apartment for ten Euros an hour. Who knows how she’d found her way to Amsterdam and from where, but in the flood of words she showered on me in her poor, strongly Polish accented English, I remembered mention of a collective somewhere in Belgium with its leader whom she referred to, reverently, as “Baba.”

Par Amouricana

By Joshua Kleinberg

It’s not the threat of violence. It’s the questions I’m expected to answer before the violence that bother me. All stemming from premises I don’t agree with, but what are you going to get into a debate with a man who just caught you making out with his “domestic partner?”

Four Poems by Antonio Machado

Translated by Daniel Evans Pritchard 

It was a time of infamy and lies. / The nation itself was dressed up / like a squalid clown to draw / attention away from our wound.

O, Henry! by Georgi Gospodinov

Translated by Angela Rodel

I can see her clearly now, wandering through the New York dusk on Christmas Eve. She grabs a cab, and in less than an hour she is standing in front of an entryway in Brooklyn.

Two Poems by Elitza Kotzeva

By Elitza Kotzeva

Memories of moments from my childhood days / carefully sealed in the sarcophagus of / forlorn history / forgotten history / forbidden history

“Gollum and I” by Elena Alexieva

By Elena Alexieva

I still can’t get used to living on ground level. The fact that from my kitchen window I see the people walking between the apartment blocks almost in their actual size keeps astonishing me. Living on the ground floor means we have no terrace. But we do have bars on the windows which we didn’t put there.

Roller Skates by Dimitar “Shosho” Kotzev

Translated by Ekaterina Petrova

Zhoro “the Bird” was a Bulgarian immigrant in Melbourne. He was born in a village near the town of Plovdiv, where, going off in pursuit of his entire family’s happiness, he had left behind a wife and a daughter.

The Green Hand and Other Stories by Nicole Claveloux

Translated by Donald Nicholson-Smith

She lives alone in a smoke-filled apartment. Now and again a glass of wine may be seen–hers, or that of a casual visitor. A bird lives there too, looking out of the window for hours, indifferent, distant. One day she decides to bring some plant life into her home to freshen things up…

Three Plastic Rooms by Petra Hůlová

Translated by Alex Zucker

Don’t stink and watch your weight. Those are the most important resolutions I know of. Every morning I plop myself down in front of the mirror and stare into my face, just in case it might finally tell me something I don’t know. It stares right back, as if expecting the same from me.

You’ll Be Me by Neđla Ćemanović

By Neđla Ćemanović

My cousin promised me a job in Austria. At the moment he told me he had managed to sort something out, I was glaring at a wall plastered with posters of nature, some of them faded and some coffeestained. The entire apartment was begrimed with the previous tenants’ addictions—from caffeine to domestic violence.

Yankee Messiah by Suzanne Mozes

By Suzanne Mozes

Ignorance and apathy have no boundaries,” David said. I raised the half-empty bottle of Evan Williams. He nodded at it but refused my boyfriend’s invitation to stay for dinner, saying he would “leave with this one last thing so y’all can eat.”

Voices in the Dark by Ulli Lust

Based on the novel by Marcel Beyer

Surely Mama must realize that the little ones are scared and that we older ones know she’s lying. We can’t tell her so because the little ones would be even more scared.

Of Card Games and Kisses by Daniela Valenta

By Daniela Valenta

It’s not that my father was a gambling man; after all, he never entered a casino in his life. He just had a way with cards and thought it would be a pity not to make the most of it, I guess. In the Yugoslavia of the 1970s, groups would gather in homes over a game of cards, playing as day turned slowly into night and night gave way to the next day, until one person finally left with a nice profit.

Registration by Naida Avdović

Translated by Mirza Purić

He was walking in his neighbourhood, looking around. The streets were incredibly empty. He didn’t think it was possible not to see anyone that day. Unusually, not even his neighbour Mara had left her flat to do her morning shopping. She never missed her morning walk. Menso knew this because he preferred spying on his neighbours to watching breakfast television.

The Kites by Romain Gary

Translated by Miranda Richmond Mouillot

I’m not going to hide at all, my friend. The ones who hide are always the ones they find. I’ve had smallpox twice; the Nazis just make it a third time.

Dignified Kiss of Paris Streets by Bae Suah

Translated by Deborah Smith

It began in Mao’s room. Hazy, formless, faint things, things that were neither light nor shade, yet at the same time the illegitimate children of both, a moment of glittering black and dark…

Belladonna by Daša Drndic

Translated by Celia Hawkesworth

On Saturday, November 19, 2002, sixty people incarcerated in a camp for illegal immigrants sew their lips together. Sixty people with their lips sewn reel around the camp, gazing at the sky. Small muddy stray dogs scamper after them, yapping shrilly. The authorities keep assiduously postponing consideration of their applications for leave to remain.

New York to Manchuria

By Christopher Impiglia

For my great-grandparents, as it was for most immigrants of their generation, the past was a hindrance. It was all about the future. A new life with new appliances and new cars and new names. Nothing old, as the old carried with it the weight of oppressive regimes, poverty, and social immobility.

Paper Cuts by Matea Šimić

Translated by Mirza Purić

The smell of apple cider vinegar pervades the room, starting from the clean, warm window panes, making its way into the perfectly tightened coverlet on the bed, the freshly brushed carpet, and one suitcase.

Invisible Bumps by Rachael Maddux

By Rachael Maddux

At the Pawleys Island General Store, I bought a postcard of a ghost. He stood atop a dune in a wide-brimmed hat and overcoat, one arm raised towards the ocean, his body half-disappeared into the overcast sky. Some stories held that the Gray Man was the ghost of a colonial man who had been thrown from his horse and drowned in the marsh.

Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck

Translated by Susan Bernofsky

One Thursday in late August, ten men gather in front of Berlin’s Town Hall. According to news reports, they’ve decided to stop eating. Three days later they decide to stop drinking too. Their skin is black. They speak English, French, Italian, as well as other languages that no one here understands. What do these men want? They are asking for work. They want to support themselves by working.

The Endless Summer by Madame Nielsen

Translated by Gaye Kynoch

The days and weeks in Lisbon, the clear, higher, harder light out here by the coast, the slightly forsaken haziness of the city, a forgotten region of outermost Europe, the sound of the street-cleaning trucks advancing slowly through the streets behind Praça do Rossio in the last hour before daybreak, like big beetles snorting hoarsely in the dust of the strangely quiet city…

A Fact of Survival

By Mina Hamedi

I saw him walking, black hair in knots and a bottle with the cap open held by his side. Leaning over the top, he brought his bottle, took a sip and stared at us.

Four Poems

By Chris Blackman

Hope is but a greeting card, it occurs to me,
while in a cab barreling across the Triborough Bridge
and it might be important enough to get this maxim
tattooed on my neck in case I forget this simple truth
and lest ideas otherwise become more obtrusive,
more incessant, but these are just the ugly thoughts
to which I am chemically prone, when I’m feeling morbid—

Prague-Berlin Train by Stacy Mattingly

By Stacy Mattingly

We’d already shown our passports at the border—it was still Czechoslovakia-Germany then. We’d kept the lights on in our compartment, waiting for the guard. Drab uniform. Angular face. Documents, he’d said. The Cold War was basically dead. Still, I could imagine.

Five Poems

By Michael Juliani

As the fishermen strangle cod
out on the wet docks our refrigerator arrives
and today is a warm sleeved gust
passing through the afternoon
a somnolent incident of pleasure

My Father’s Eye

By Theophilus Kwek

Now that we live in the same house, it sits on a glass shelf in the hallway, a dark lens winking when the lights come on. A cataract of dust, invisible except at certain angles…

Collision by Merle Kröger

Translated by Rachel Hildebrandt and Alexandra Roesch

White swathes of steam float across the deck. It wreaks. Someone has puked into the swimming pool, and fibrous chunks float on the surface. Leg of duck in a truffle reduction—the Chef’s daily special. As though in slow motion, the girl straightens up, staggers away, reeling between stacks of deck chairs and disappears into the haze.

The Lighthouse by Alison Moore

By Alison Moore

He is not in the bedroom. She can hear the shower running in the bathroom, can hear him singing in there. She would prefer not to have to talk to this man who keeps calling her Ester as if he knows her. She is still annoyed with him for being so late and not even apologizing. She is obliged to feed the man – she wants to feed him, she always wants to feed men – but she would be pleased to get away without having to engage with him.

Moonbath by Yanick Lahens

Translated by Emily Gogolak

The elusive gazes of the men, the slightly aghast looks from the women, upon the arrival of this rider, all to suggest that he was a dreadful and dreaded being.

Hladno by Marina Alagić-Bowder

By Marina Alagić-Bowder

The March sunshine is clear as a bell, but there’s a bitter edge to the glassy Adriatic waters. Matt and I follow the children down to the shore to watch them dip their toes and scream, “Hladno-o-o!” The initial H adds to the shivering.

Three Poems by Zhu Zhu

Translated by Dong Li 

days are placid, like an olive grove
spread upon the slopes, not
too many high rises, not too much dust
or too many nouveau-riche neighbors;

City of Ulysses by Teolinda Gersão

Translated by Jethro Soutar and Annie McDermott

You would’ve come home and told me all about it, filled with enthusiasm and doubtless in fits of laughter. If the conversation had ever taken place.

Tangle by Kulović Selma

Translated by Mirza Purić

All the pain we inflicted on our mother began with our birth. We hurt her when we were being born, and we hurt her by being born. Why people come uninvited, she never understood. She invited her first husband into her life. Me she didn’t invite.

Miss Burma by Charmaine Craig

By Charmaine Craig

Khin had seen him before, the young officer. She had noticed his hands, strong and clenched by his sides, and the restless way he charged from one end of the seaport to the other.

Salki by Wojciech Nowicki

Translated by Jan Pytalski

The city was rebuilt to restore its previous look, sometimes down to exact details, following a naive belief that that would turn it back into what it used to be before the war. It was an exercise in fidelity without purpose, an empty gesture of men in love with history.

Four Poems by Anita Pajević

Translated by Mirza Purić

for breakfast I’ve had
a small coniferous forest
and in it a squirrel
I pressed him on a serviette
stored him between two leaves of newspaper

Three Poems by Mária Ferenčuhová

Translated by James Sutherland-Smith

Crystals grown too quickly to champ with teeth
scratch throat. with narrow fingers across
canvas voiceless retrace twists and turns.

Lessons From the Darkness by Helena Janeczek

Translated by Frederika Randall

They caught her because she made a mistake. For months she had sailed right through their nets with her false passport, her bleached hair, her little heart-shaped medal reworked as a cross, her Polish spoken like a Pole and even her school-taught German spoken badly as only the Poles in Slesia did.

The Communist by Guido Morselli

Translated by Frederika Randall

He didn’t want to drop dead in that room. In the dark. Alone, without a helping hand: it was pure misery. The sound of his breathing did not seem to be him, but a machine.

Six Poems by Daniela Danz

Translated by Monika Cassel

The linden tree has lost all its leaves
and nothing is left of the summer but
the wish to stroke old Germany’s
head one more time

Seeing People Off by Jana Beňová

Translated by Janet Livingstone

The river draws closer and closer to the stream of gawking people. They jump onto the sandbags so they can see themselves in it. And at night they dream dreams on the shore. Dreams in which clouds of dust whirl behind herds of galloping animals.

Two poems by Julia Fiedorczuk

Translated by Bill Johnston

I’d like to say—to her, to both of them—
let’s lie down beneath the grass, lie in the shade
of dried-out ships, let matters of fate be left
to those plane trees, I’d like to say, look over there!

The Teeth of the Comb & Other Stories by Osama Alomar

Translated by C.J. Collins

I took the big bag that I had inherited from my grandfather down from the attic. It was brightly colored like a storm of rainbows. I hoisted it onto my back and went out into the street. I closed my eyes and began to choose samples at random from everything that was inside: humans and stones and dust and flowers and wind and the past and the present and the future.

Two Poems by Miodrag Stanisavljević

Translated by Mirza Purić

My beautiful triune people, you’re fairest
in the morning when you gush forth
from your colon-colonies
and your public transport vans
– thank you.

Celestine by Olga Ravn

Translated by Sherilyn Hellberg

The face, the voice, the hands press against the wall. Celestine up in the south-facing attic, in front of the stained mirror—and there is also a dried wreath there. In the darkness inside the wall, a glimpse of Celestine’s eyes. In one eye a nettle grows. The forest around the castle sparkled like silver, carrying Celestine’s name within it. She is furious; she hunts down the guests at the hotel when they sleep. She slides down the corridors. She licks their faces. She licks the sleep out of their eyes. She cries no no when the wall closes in on her.

Wolf Hunt by Ivailo Petrov

Translated by Angela Rodel

I’ll try to introduce to you the six hunters individually and I’ll start with him, since he was the reason they set off in that miserable weather to track wolves.

Three Poems by Anja Marković

Translated by Mirza Purić

You’re always on the edge between two chasms, cradle-ladles,
as your limping legs laze on the wall.
There are wider spaces in you, their evening chill
callously presses your palms
as if to pierce your insides, spill into the night,
into the rivers above the roofs, into the rotten orchards of the sky.

Three Poems by Wioletta Greg

Translated by Eliza Marciniak

Cold surfaces of mirrors stubbornly hold their form.
Beyond the looking-glass, atoms have combined
into impenetrable worlds.
I found warm newborns in the rabbit-hole.

Two Poems by Selma Asotić

Translated by Mirza Purić

When we wet the bed
for three nights in a row
they put a shroud
over our heads
and brought the lead
to our eyes

Two Poems by Lidija Deduš

Translated by Mirza Purić

I’ve got all the necessary qualifications to become stateless I’ve got
an expired passport of a state which no longer exists and a birth certificate
from a city in a country no one will recognise

Two Poems by Darko Cvijetić

Translated by Mirza Purić

All things
When you lay them
One across the other
Make a cross
Only a man
Dropped as a perpendicular
Onto another man

Frontier by Can Xue

Translated by Karen Gernant & Chen Zeping

Nights on the riverbank were terrifying: it was as if the violent wind would blow the boxes into the river at any moment. Mixed with this strong wind were many howling wolves.

The Magician of Vienna by Sergio Pitol

Translated by George Henson

I was in Vienna this year, after a twelve-year absence. My arrival coincided with a mass rally of three hundred thousand people who protested against the return of Nazism to the country, precisely in Heroes’ Square, the same one where one million Austrians frenziedly cheered Hitler.

The White City by Karolina Ramqvist

Translated by Saskia Vogel

Her fatigue was bright and jagged. It rained down on her, dispersing her thoughts until they were but white noise. She had no idea how long she’d slept last night.

The Night So Long by Marjorie Agosín

By Marjorie Agosín

That night became longer still.
Around us the silence turned dark as well,
An opaque hue of gray without blue.
Bewildered girls asked what had happened.
All their mothers knew to do was play with their disheveled hair.

Leonora Carrington EuropeNow

Down Below by Leonora Carrington

By Leonora Carrington

Various events were taking place in the outside world: the collapse of Belgium, the entry of the Germans in France. All of this interested me very little and I had no fear whatsoever.

Radiant Terminus by Antoine Volodine

Translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman

Mudugan was a typical village of thieves, built in the middle of the forest in a gap that barely deserved to be called a clearing, so tightly did the trees encircle the log houses. There weren’t any paths that had been marked to get there and it was inaccessible to anyone who didn’t know exactly where the ravines and undergrowth were. That was where Umrug Batyushin learned to live his life as a self-sufficient child, there where he learned to shoot rifles, to carve up elk, and endure cold and hardship, as well as bear the howling of the wolves…

Merman by Tea Tulić

Translated by Mirza Purić

My husband is burly, and when he walks, it’s as if his steps are yawning. He stumbles over me as if over a pet. I sometimes hide behind a tree and wait for him to turn around. Or leave. If we’re going to a birthday party, I’m the one who wraps and carries the present. If he’s had a lot of wine, the room takes on a smell which makes me put on my shoes and walk up and down the street.

Three poems by Maximilian Voloshin

Translated by Masha Udensiva-Brenner

I want to scream something
Into its dark, open jaws,
To bring my ear to it,
Press up against it with my tremulous heart.

Volatile Texts: Us Two by Zsuzsanna Gahse

Translated by Chenxin Jiang

Europe is disintegrating, the old lady is falling apart. She recently appeared at the Museum Festival with a terrible heap of jewelry around her neck; she’d just dyed her hair blond; above her fake gold necklace hung her wretched, worn face, and then she laughed, walked up to the bar, embraced a tall young man and kiss him artfully.

The Life-Writer by David Constantine

By David Constantine

During the funeral, and after it when the mourners came back to her house, Katrin continued in the almost rapturous state she had been lifted into by the last hours of Eric’s life. It was over, accomplished, her strength had sufficed. And now meticulously she would attend in every detail to every thing that needed to be done. She allowed advice, but followed it her way; help, but she directed it. She accepted condolences, and herself extended them to whoever had been saddened by Eric’s death.

What Are the Blind Men Dreaming? by Noemi Jaffe

Translated by Julia Sanches

She continues to divine the future—more so than the past, which she has almost completely forgotten. She has herself turned into Linka, the gypsy from Debrecen. Her Jewishness is a mixture of faith and superstition; a religion she has partly invented herself.

Berlin-Hamlet by Szilárd Borbély

Translated by Ottilie Mulzet

At the time I had no answering machine, so
I couldn’t call myself. Ludicrous, perhaps,
even morbid, how secure it made me feel to know
at any time I could hear my own voice. There is a voice, however
mechanical, which is mine.

Pianist’s Fingers by Berta García Faet

Translated by Kelsi Vanada

love’s cry lingers incomplete like a half-articulated sneeze love is a half-sneeze cut off by another sneeze creaking a reflex scandalously i rest my skull on your sweet skull a phonograph before the sonata in C major accentuates and duplicates the cravings and increases wellbeing and exists

Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada

Translated by Susan Bernofsky

As soon as he entered the sleepers’ realm, the air around him grew sharply colder, with glittering silvery particles of light falling all around him. He watched the miniature flakes floating, they danced, liberated from gravity, yet still went on falling: falling ever farther until at last they alighted on the frozen earth and disappeared.

Of Darkness by Josefine Klougart

Translated by Martin Aitken

We come no closer, only the opposite—we are moving away. Moving backwards, losing the pores of the woman’s skin, we lose the pores, the fair down of her upper lip that you discovered, the lines of her skin reminding you of some other age—youth, funnily enough, that couldn’t quite be placed.