Terrific news from Kelly Morse (poetry ’12) whose translations of censored Vietnamese poet Ly Doi recently won Lunch Ticket magazine’s Gabo Prize for Translation and Multi-Lingual Texts. Kelly says she began these translations while in Rosanna Warren’s Translation Seminar during her time in the MFA program at BU. The judge Dan Bellm, a poet and translator, had this to say about her translations:
“Boiled – Steamed – Raw,” poet Lý Đợi’s biting trio of diatribes against many forms of repression and violence in present-day Vietnam, plays brilliantly with the metaphorical structure of traditional recipes from the north, center, and south of his country. In his hands, these become the doctrinaire instruction manuals of hell, complete with helpful slogans for chanting along. But the tonal shifts, word play, and cultural and political references readily accessible to any native speaker of the language must have made this work especially daunting to translate. Kelly Morse skillfully interweaves a range of registers from high bureaucratic doublespeak and textbook blandness to Buddhist meditation, street slang and song to allow us entry into an underground, officially banned view of Vietnamese society we are unlikely to get anywhere else but in poems. “Boiled – Steamed – Raw” is very fine work.
– Dan Bellm, poet, translator, and author of Practice and Buried Treasure
Hearty congratulations, Kelly!
Kelly Morse is a poet, creative nonfiction writer, and translator. Her creative work has appeared or is forthcoming in Brevity, Alimentum, Quarter After Eight and elsewhere, while her translations have appeared in Asymptote. A graduate of Boston University’s MFA program, she has had work nominated for Best of the Net, and she is a Vermont Studio Center fellowship recipient.