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George Kalogeris

From an island in ancient Greece to a labor camp in 20th century Eastern Europe; from a lamplit Italian piazza to the dark halls of an abandoned home in Portugal—the voices rise and meet, transact and transcend. In this collection George Kalogeris takes up the challenge of literary translation with sensitivity and self-effacement—but no fear. “What we hear in a good translation is not purely that voice of somebody else but also the voice of the translator registering that effort and its delight,” notes David Ferry in his commentary. All 24 poems in this book Ferry praises as “instances of realization … instances of how this generous and self-exacting imagination registers and responds to his deep understanding of the poems he translates.” At turns heartbreaking, melancholic, exultant, speculative, irreverent, and vulgar, these dialogues render some of the most widely admired voices of Western culture—Theocritus, Sappho, Pindar, Pessoa, Celan, and Akhmatova, among others—into fresh, contemporary English. This collection will draw all lovers of poetry and ideas into what Warren calls the “fraternity of imagination” that Kalogeris has so vividly conceived.


I love Dialogos—the pairings are cunning, and the poems themselves are strikingly original. Yes, original, though they are translations, for in virtually every case, including those I thought I knew well, it was as if I were hearing something for the first time.

—Stephen Greenblatt, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Swerve


Read the foreword by Rosanna Warren »


Read the commentary by David Ferry »


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George Kalogeris teaches English Literature and Classics in Translation at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the author of Camus: Carnets (Pressed Wafer Press, 2006), a book of poems based on the notebooks of Albert Camus. His translations have appeared recently in AGNI, Harvard Review, and Poetry.


Rosanna Warren is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Ghost in a Red Hat (W.W. Norton 2011).  She has also published a translation of Euripides's Suppliant Women (with Stephen Scully; Oxford, 1995), a book of literary criticism, Fables of the Self: Studies in Lyric Poetry (W.W. Norton & Company, 2008), and has edited several books, including The Art of Translation: Voices from the Field (Northeastern, 1989).  She has received awards from the Academy of Arts and Letters and has won the Lamont Poetry Prize. She teaches at Boston University, where for the past thirty years she has directed the Translation Seminar.


David Ferry is Sophie Chantal Hart Professor Emeritus of English at Wellesley College.  He is the author of nine books of poetry, translation, and criticism, including Of No Country I Know:  New and Selected Poems (University of Chicago Press, 1999), The Georgics of Virgil (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2005), and Bewilderment:  Poems and Translations (University of Chicago Press, 2012).  He has received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award, the Ingram Merrill Award, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, the Library of Congress’s Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, and the 2011 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.  He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.