Friday, October 21st: Fiona Sze-Lorrain reads from her newest book of poems, The Ruined Elegance. 7pm.
"Her works serves as a vital midwife for the greater global understanding that will one day be born from today's contracting and relaxing tensions between differing religions, cultures, and languages. As such, myriad cultural aesthetics bob up and down throughout The Ruined Elegance, often entwined in the arms of the other, calling into question assumptions of culture and canon." The Rumpus
Fiona Sze-Lorrain is a poet, literary translator, editor, and musician who writes and translates in English, Chinese, and French. A French national born in Singapore, she grew up in a hybrid of cultures. She graduated from Columbia University and New York University before obtaining her Ph.D. in French Literature from Universite Paris IV-Sorbonne. Her latest collection of poetry, The Ruined Elegance, is published by Princeton University Press is 2015/2016 as part of the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets, and is named by Library Journal as one of its "Best Books 2015: Poetry." It is also a finalist for the 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Prize. My Funeral Gondola, Sze-Lorrain's second book of poetry, was published as a Manoa Books title by El Leon Literary Arts in 2013, and was a finalist in Poetry for the 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. Her debut poetry title, Water the Moon, appeared in 2010 and received an Honorable Mention for the 2011 Eric Hoffer Book Award in Poetry. Invisible Eye (2015), a selection of Sze-Lorrain's poems translated into Chinese by Taiwanese poet Ling Yu, was released in Taiwan in a bilingual edition.
A widely published translator of contemporary Chinese poetry, Sze-Lorrain was longlisted for the 2014 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Sea Summit– her book of translations of selected poetry by Chinese woman poet and theater scenographer Yi Li– is out from Milkweed Editions in January 2016.
Among many other honors, Sze-Lorrain was a Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa in fall 2013. Currently, she works as an editor at Vif Editions, a small independent French press in Paris. A zheng harpist, she has performed worldwide. Her CD, In One Take, was released in 2010. She lives in France.