Hélène Cardona

Hélène Cardona
Poet Pick
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A citizen of the United States, France, and Spain, Hélène Cardona’s most recent books are the award-winning Life in Suspension (Salmon Poetry, 2016); Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry, 2013); and the translations Birnam Wood (José Manuel Cardona, Salmon Poetry 2018), Beyond Elsewhere (Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, White Pine Press, 2016), winner of a Hemingway Grant; and Ce que nous portons (Dorianne Laux, Éditions du Cygne, 2014). She also translated Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings for the Iowa International Writing Program’s WhitmanWeb. A Romanian translation of Dreaming My Animal Selves was published by Junimea Editions in 2016. Her work has also been translated into fifteen languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Macedonian, and Spanish. Hélène also translated Rimbaud, Baudelaire, René Depestre, Ernest Pépin, Aloysius Bertrand, Maram Al-Masri, Eric Sarner, Jean-Claude Renard, Nicolas Grenier, Christiane Singer, and John Ashbery.


She wrote her thesis on Henry James for a master’s degree in American literature from the Sorbonne, worked as a translator/interpreter for the Canadian Embassy in Paris, taught at Hamilton College and Loyola Marymount University, and received fellowships from the Goethe-Institut and Universidad Internacional de Andalucía. She also writes children stories and co-wrote with John FitzGerald the screenplay Primate, based on his novel.


Conference presentations include twelve panels with AWP, presentations at Brown University, the 2014 Puterbaugh International Literary Festival at Oklahoma State University, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Poets House, Tabula Poetica at Chapman University, the University of Rochester, the New York Browning Society, the Thesophical Society, and the University of California at Irvine, among many. She has judged the 2017 Jacar Press Full Length Competition, 2016 PEN Center USA Translation Award, 2015 Writer’s Digest Challenge, and 2014 Rabindranath Tagore Award. 


Born in Paris and raised all over Europe, Cardona has lived in Switzerland, France, England, Wales, Monaco, Germany, Spain, and the United States. She co-edits Plume, Fulcrum, and Levure Littéraire, contributes essays to The London Magazine, and is co-producer of Pablo Neruda: The Poet’s Calling. Publications include Washington Square, World Literature Today, Poetry International, Irish Literary Times, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Asymptote, The Brooklyn Rail, Anomaly, Drunken Boat, The Warwick Review, and elsewhere. She has had roles in the movies Chocolat, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Jurassic World, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Spy, and Mumford, among many others. For Serendipity, she co-wrote with director Peter Chelsom and composer Alan Silvestri the song “Lucienne,” which she also sang.

First posted: May 22, 2011

Last modified: September 11, 2018