A Restless Melancholy: Participants

Forrest Gander is an award-winning poet, novelist, essayist and translator who was Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor of Literary Arts at Brown until his retirement in 2018.  Among his many titles are Core Samples from the World (a Pulitzer-prize finalist), Redstart:  An Ecological Poetics, Science and Steepleflower, As a Friend, The Trace, and A Faithful Existence, among many others.  Recent translations include Alice Iris Red Horse:  Poems of Gozo Yoshimasu, Then Come Back:  The Lost Neruda Poems, and Fungus Skull Eye Wing:  Selected Poems of Alfonso D’Aquino.  Forrest’s work, which is concerned with the way we are revised and translated in encounters with the foreign, has been described in The Washington Post as “restlessly experimental, precise and hallucinatory” and, in The New York Times, as the work of an “unflinchingly curious mind.”  A California native who grew up in Virginia, Forrest has frequently collaborated with other artists, including photographers Sally Mann, Graciela Iturbide, and Raymond Meeks; glass artist Michael Roger; ceramicists Rick Hirsch and Ashwini Bhat; and dancers Eiko and Koma, among many others.  He is a U.S. Artists Rockefeller Fellow and has received other fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim, Whiting, and Howard Foundations. 

Bei Dao was the co-founding editor of Today (Jingtian), which, in 1978, was the first unofficial literary jounal to be published in China since 1949. Since 1987, Bei Dao has lived in Europe and the United States. His work has been translated into thirty languages, including six volumes of poetry in English -- these include The Rose of Time, Unlock, Landscape Over Zero, Forms of Distance, Old Snow and The August Sleepwalker. In addition, he has seen published Waves, a collection of stories, and three collections of essays: City Gate, Open Up; Midnight's Gate; and Blue House. Among his numerous awards and honors, Bei Dao was named an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Jorie Graham is the author of 12 collections of poetry, most recently From the New World: Selected Poems 1976-2016 and FAST from Ecco/HarperCollins. She teaches at Harvard, and lives in Cambridge, MA.




Anna Deeny Morales is a translator, literary critic, and dramatist. Her works in translation by Raúl Zurita include Purgatory, Dreams for Kurosawa, and Sky Below: Selected Works, of which she is also the editor. Deeny has also translated poetry by Mercedes Roffé, Alejandra Pizarnik, and Amanda Berenguer, among others. Original works for contemporary dance and theater include La straniera and Tela di Ragno, as well as adaptations of zarzuelas, Cecilia Valdés and La Verbena de la Paloma. Deeny received a PhD from UC, Berkeley, and teaches at Georgetown University. She recently received an NEA fellowship to translate Tala by Gabriela Mistral.

Laura Mullen, the author of eight books, is the McElveen Professor of English at LSU. Recognitions for her poetry include Ironwood’s Stanford Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Rona Jaffe Award. Her work has been widely anthologized, and she is the librettist for Nathan Davis’ a Sound Uttered, a Silence crossed (for choir and percussion) which was commissioned by the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus. Recent work has appeared in The Nation, Conjunctions, Interim, and Lana Turner. She is the 2017-2018 Arons poet at Tulane and affiliate faculty at Stetson University for 2018. She has recently published a collaboration with photographer John David O’Brien, and her translation of Veronique Pittolo's Hero is forthcoming from Black Square Press.


Declan Spring is Vice President and Senior Editor at New Directions Publishing. He has been working there since 1991. Besides handling foreign rights, contracts, and royalties, he also edits about a third of the ND list. He has edited works by authors including Jorge Baron Biza, Jorge Luis Borges, Anne Carson, Julio Cortazar, Inger Christensen, Guy Davenport, H.D.,  Jenny Erpenbeck, Forrest Gander, Peter Handke, Laszlo Krasznahorkai, Harry Mathews, Horacio Castellanos-Moya, Alejandra Pizarnik, Fernando Pessoa, Ezra Pound, Dag Solstad, Enrique Vila-Matas, and Paul West.


Eliot Weinberger’s books of literary essays include Karmic Traces, An Elemental Thing, Oranges and Peanuts for Sale, and The Ghosts of Birds.  His political articles are collected in What I Heard About Iraq and What Happened Here: Bush Chronicles. The author of 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei, he is a translator of the poetry of Bei Dao, the editor of The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry, and the general editor of the series Calligrams: Writings from and on China. Among his translations of Latin American literature are The Poems of Octavio Paz, Jorge Luis Borges’ Selected Non-Fictions, Vicente Huidobro’s Altazor, and Xavier Villaurrutia’s Nostalgia for Death. His work regularly appears in the London Review of Books and has been translated into over thirty languages.

Raúl Zurita was born in Chile in 1950. He studied Engineering at Universidad Federico Santa María, de Valparaíso. His books include, among others: Purgatorio (1979), Anteparaíso (1982), Canto a su amor desaparecido (1985), La Vida Nueva (1994), INRI (2003), In Memorian (2007), Las ciudades de agua (2007), Cuadernos de Guerra (2010), Zurita (2011), Tu vida rompiéndose (2015) y Son importantes las estrellas (2018). Translations in English include Purgatory, Anteparadise, Song for His Disappeared Love, INRI, Dreams for Kurosawa, Militant Poems and Sky Below. In 1979, with other artists, he founded the art action group CADA (Colectivo de Acciones de Arte), dedicated to the creation of political art resisting the military regime. In 1982 he composed a poem in the sky over New York, and in 1983 he bulldozed “ni pena ni miedo” (“no pain no fear”) into coarse sands the Atacama Desert. He received a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, and his numerous awards include the National Literature Prize of Chile and the Pablo Neruda Prize. He is professor emeritus at the University Diego Portales, Chile.