Eleanor Goodman, translator
Xiaoni Wang, Something Crosses My Mind
Zephyr Press/Chinese University Press of Hong Kong 2014
New Books Network January 11, 2016 Carla Nappi
Eleanor Goodman has written a masterful translation of the work of Chinese poet Xiaoni Wang. In Something Crosses My Mind (Zephr Press, 2014) (Zephyr Press and The Chinese University Press of Hong Kong, 2014), Goodman offers a fascinating introduction to the work of this “poet of place.” Wang’s poetry evokes a sense of dislocation and distances traveled, a sense of isolation while being embedded in a community of everyday material and nonhuman beings – corn and pigs, peanuts and windows, potatoes and blades, dust and mountains, farmers and colors. In the course of our conversation we talked about the challenges and opportunities of the translator’s practice, and Goodman was exceptionally generous in reading several of her beautiful translations and guiding us through some of the most powerful and evocative moments therein.