Azar Nafisi

Bio: Azar Nafisi is the author of the multi-award-winning New York Times bestseller Reading Lolita in Tehran, as well as Things I’ve Been Silent About, and The Republic of Imagination. Formerly a Fellow at Johns Hopkins University’s Foreign Policy Institute, she has taught at Oxford and several universities in Tehran, and she is currently Centennial Fellow at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. Her book Read Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times is forthcoming from Dey Street Books in March 2022.

Events: Fifth Year Launch: The Cross-Cultural Role of International Literature, Azar Nafisi and Joanne Leedom-Ackerman with Matthew Davis,Azar Nafisi: The Republic of Imagination


Ahmed Naji

Bio: Ahmed Naji, a writer from Egypt, is presently a fellow at the Black Mountain Institute in Las Vegas. His work touches on a variety of themes, including sci-fi, Islamic methodology, sex, friendship, prison literature, music, magic, and masculinity. Naji’s novel, Using Life, was among the “Tales of a Fantastic Future” shortlisted by the Neukom Institute Literary Arts Awards (2018). The work also led to a two-year prison sentence in Egypt for obscenity and disturbing public morals. Naji served a year of his sentence and was honored by the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award (2016).‎

Events: Boundless: Africa, Annapolis Book Festival: Writing in Exile, Narrating the Middle East: The DC Arab Literature Festival


Sawako Nakayasu

Bio: Sawako Nakayasu is an artist working with language, performance, and translation – separately and in various combinations. She has lived mostly in the US and Japan, briefly in France and China, and translates from Japanese. Her books include The Ants, Mouth: Eats Color – Sagawa Chika Translations, Anti-translations, & Originals (a multilingual work of both original and translated poetry), and Costume en Face (a translation of a handwritten notebook of Tatsumi Hijikata’s dance notations). She is co-editor, with Lisa Samuels, of A Transpacific Poetics, a gathering of poetry and poetics engaging transpacific imaginaries.

Events: Day of Translation (2018)


Vivek Narayanan

Bio: Vivek Narayanan was born in India to Tamil parents and grew up in Zambia.  He earned a master’s degree in cultural anthropology from Stanford University and a master’s in creative writing from Boston University.  He has taught at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and in the mid-2000s worked at Sarai-CSDS, a center for experimental practice and theory in New Delhi.  His books of poems include Universal Beach, Life and Times of Mr S and, most recently, After (NYRB Poets, 2022).  A full-length collection of his selected poems in Swedish translation was published by the Stockholm-based Wahlström & Widstrand in 2015. He has been a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University (2013-14) and a Cullman Fellow at the New York Public Library (2015-16).  His poems, stories, translations and critical essays have appeared in journals like The Paris Review, Chimurenga Chronic, Granta.com, Poetry Review (UK), Modern Poetry in Translation, Harvard Review, Agni, The Caribbean Review of Books and elsewhere, as well as in anthologies like The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem and The Bloodaxe Book of Contemporary Indian Poetry.  Narayanan is also a member of Poetry Daily’s editorial board. He was the Co-editor of Almost Island, an India-based international literary journal from 2007-2019.

Events: Day of Translation (2017), Day of Translation (2018), What Translation Sparks, The Cheuse Center at the Annapolis Book Fair, Quiet, A Reading, Victoria Adukwei Bulley


Ezio Neyra

Bio: Ezio Neyra is a Peruvian writer, scholar, editor, and translator. His writing has appeared in Cuba, Chile, Mexico, the United States, and Peru. He is the author of  Habrá que hacer algo mientras tanto (2005),  Todas mis muertes (2006), Tsunami (2012), and Pasajero en La Habana (2017). A recipient of several fellowships and recognitions and a participant in book fairs worldwide, he has been a writer-in-residence in Mexico City and Rhodes, Greece. In 2003, he founded Matalamanga, a publishing house based in Lima that has published over 30 books by Latin American authors. He was the editor of the Peruvian edition of the Argentinean literary magazine Lamujerdemivida. In Lima he also founded and directed Niñolee, an organization promoting literacy among Peruvian children. He holds a PhD in Latin American Literature at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He also worked for the Peruvian government as Director del Libro y la Lectura, where he had in charge the promotion of reading and of the book industry.  Currently, he is living in Santiago, Chile, where he is a professor or Literature at the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez.

Events: Day of Translation (2019)


Margaret Noodin

Bio: Margaret Noodin received an MFA in Creative Writing and a PhD in Linguistics from the University of Minnesota. She is currently a Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the author of Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature and two bilingual collections of poetry Weweni and Gijigijigikendan: What the Chickadee Knows. Her poems are also anthologized in numerous publications. Her research spans translation, linguistic revitalization, indigenous ontologies, and Anishinaabe and Celtic literature. 

Events: What Translation Sparks