I’m so excited to share this article from the Augsburger Allgemeine about German poet Max Sessner and about my translations of his work. For those who don’t read German, the article details the story of how I came to translate Max’s poems and of how stunningly quickly I’ve been able to place the translations in English-language literary journals.
I first stumbled across Max’s work in the Austrian literary journal manuskripte in January, and I knew immediately that I wanted to translate it. These poems are devastating and funny and surreal; I’ve never read anything quite like them. I wrote to Max and made the happy (for me) discovery that no one had yet brought his amazing poems into English. He granted me permission, and I set to work translating and submitting poems, perhaps with just a hint of obsession, and, by July, I had translated 39 poems and placed 29 of them in literary journals. I warned Max when I sent out the first round of submissions that we would likely face long delays and receive a generous amount of rejection, but, within twelve hours of sending that email, I had to write to tell him that five of his poems had already been accepted by the first place I had sent them (B O D Y). And so it has gone. Max Sessner’s English-language submission stats are the stuff of fairy tales. His poems appear or are forthcoming in B O D Y, River Styx, Rattle, Mid-American Review, and Arc, and I am working on a book of his selected poetry that I hope to begin circulating to publishers by the spring.