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Welcome to the website of Katherine E. Young,
award-winning poet and translator from the Russian

YouTube: Katherine E. Young, Poet and Translator
YouTube: Spoken in Arlington

KATHERINE E. YOUNG is the author of two full-length poetry collectionsWoman Drinking Absinthe, Day of the Border Guards (2014 Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize finalist), and two chapbooks. She is the editor of Written in Arlington and curator of Spoken in Arlington. Her poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Iowa Review, Subtropics, and many others. She is the translator of Look at Him by Anna Starobinets, Farewell, Aylis by Azerbaijani political prisoner Akram Aylisli, and two poetry collections by Inna Kabysh. Young’s translations of contemporary Russian-language poetry and prose have won international awards; several translations have been made into short films. Young was named a 2020 Arlington County (Virginia) Individual Artist Grant recipient, a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts translation fellow, and a 2015 Hawthornden Fellow (Scotland). From 2016-2018, she served as the inaugural poet laureate for Arlington, Virginia.

Katherine E. Young’s poems wrap with equal grace around bears and Bluebeard, salt and calculus, as they shift between local and global, past and present. Everything gets in: through all five senses, drinks tasted, birdsong heard, each line slipping under your skin. Woman Drinking Absinthe is a book stark with truth but alive with magic, and in it Young illuminates the broken but beautiful world we inhabit.

— Jesse Lee Kercheval

Katherine Young’s Day of the Border Guards is very much about crossing borders – those between reality and, in this case, Russia. Which to say she offers us a Russia of direct experience and the transformed country of the imagination. Her text is dense with marvelous detail, dramatic intensity, and intentions that are unmistakable in their insight and judgment. Young chooses to represent both herself and the voices of various personae, sometimes, in fact, as one blended voice: hers and Akhmatova, hers and Mandelstam.

— Stanley Plumly

Explore the website to learn more about Young’s work as a literary and professional translator, including her work with writers Akram Aylisli, Inna Kabysh, and Anna Starobinets. The site also includes an extensive sampler of poetry in translation from Russian and Russophone authors.

Want an award-winning poet to write a personalized poem for your special occasion? Need a manuscript consultation? Looking for an experienced professional or literary translator from the Russian? Katherine E. Young is also available for readings, interviews, and speaking engagements connected to the authors she translates and other public events. Contact her for availability and rates.

Author photo by Samantha Hancock Collins