The twelve works that make up Drunken Boat 21’s translation section were not consciously chosen or organized around a guiding principle. We were unable to resist going back for just one more hit of experimental Rimbaud with Brian Kim Stefans’ “Les Assis (The Men Who Sit),” but this time set it against projects as far-ranging as Marci Vogel creatively interpolating the Middle French of Christine de Pizan and Jon Davis introducing us to Nasseer Hassan’s contemporary vision of Tahrir Square.

Drunken Boat’s assistant translation editor, María José Giménez, remarks on an emergent theme of cities and, moreover, a tangible interplay between people or voices in cities and both inner and outer landscapes. She opens the section with Roger Sedarat’s translation of “Taziyeh” by Haji Khavari, a piece that literally calls the reader in, both to this issue’s extraordinary rattle bag and to the remarkable work of a very young and surely soon-to-be-better-known Iranian poet.

On a less thematic and more intuitive level, Giménez describes "a cinematographic effect in a lot of the pieces with actors moving through and interacting with their environment. I find myself being pulled into and swirling around in scenes and their visual and sensory images, as if there was a greater permeability or exchange between me as a reader and the witness or actor in the scene."

In this issue, we are indeed called, invited, and pulled into Jen Hyde’s downriver trip to the Yellow Crane Tower, into the soundscapes of Nancy Naomi Carlson’s Abdourahman Waberi, into Neil Anderson’s meta-performance of the interlingual play in Federico García Lorca’s Six Galician Poems. May these powerful works and all of the others herein delight and challenge you. May they pull you in and spin you around as they have us.

Anna Rosenwong, Translation Editor
María José Giménez, Assistant Translation Editor
April 2015


María José Giménez

María José Giménez is a translator, editor and rough-weather poet with a rock climbing problem. Her work has appeared in Drunken Boat, The Fourth River, The Apostles Review, and Cactus Heart, and in the anthologies Cloudburst: An Anthology of Hispanic Canadian Short Stories and Cuentos de nuestra palabra en Canadá: Primera hornada. Her translations include poetry, short fiction, essays, screenplays, and a mountaineering memoir. Find her at

Anna Rosenwong

Anna Rosenwong is a translator, poet, editor, and educator. She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa and a PhD from UC Irvine. Her book-length publications include Rocío Cerón’s Diorama (winner of the 2015 Best Translated Book Award), José Eugenio Sánchez's Suite Prelude a/H1N1, and an original collection of poetry, By Way of Explanation. Her literary and scholarly work has been featured in World Literature Today, The Kenyon Review, Translation Studies, The St Petersburg Review, Pool, and elsewhere.