KATHERINE E. YOUNG, a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellow, has translated the poetry and prose of numerous Russian and Russophone writers. In addition, Young has lectured on translation, translation theory, and ethical translation practice at the Institut Perevoda (Moscow, Russia), the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), at gatherings of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) and the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA), and at Split This Rock 2016. In 2015 she was named a Hawthornden Fellow (Scotland).



Boris Pasternak: a Poetic Calendar, 2020

Young’s translations have been read at US and international venues that include Struga Poetry Evenings (Macedonia), the Treci Trg poetry festival (Serbia), the London Book Fair (UK), Pushkin House (London, UK), the American Embassy (Moscow, Russia), Meetings in Siberia International Documentary Film Festival (Novosibirsk, Russia), the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA), Prairie Lights Bookstore (Iowa, US), the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and KGB Bar (NY, NY), among others. In collaboration with AALWE Studio and Siberian filmmaker Pavel Golovkin, Young has produced two short film versions (in both Russian and English) of the work of Russian poet Inna Kabysh; additional video renderings of Young’s translations of Kabysh’s work were produced by Katherine McNamara for Two Poems (Artist’s Proof Editions). Young is a founding member and former co-director of the DC-Area Literary Translators Network (DC ALT). With DC-ALT members Nancy Naomi Carlson and Suzanne Zweizig, Young guest-edited a special translation issue of Beltway Poetry Quarterly featuring translators from the Washington, DC, region.

Need a translator? Please scroll down for further information and general rates.



National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship

Akram Aylisli in Ailis

Akram Aylisli

Young was named a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Translation Fellow for Farewell, Aylis, a trilogy of novellas by Akram Aylisli (Azerbaijan) that was published by Academic Studies Press in 2018. In announcing the award, the NEA citation reads in part:

Aylisli (b.1937) is an Azerbaijani writer, playwright, novelist, and former magazine editor-in-chief, press director, and member of the Azerbaijani National Assembly. His works have been translated into more than 20 languages. Following the 2012 publication of the second novella of this trilogy, Stone Dreams…the Azerbaijani president stripped Aylisli of the title of “People’s Writer.” Aylisli’s books were burned, his son and wife were fired from their jobs, and he received death threats. Stone Dreams depicts the real-life pogroms carried out by Azerbaijanis against Armenians as the Soviet Union broke apart, as well as the Armenian genocide in the early 20th century. [Stone Dreams] is apparently the first work by a writer in any Turkic language to recognize the suffering of Armenians. In 2014, supporters in Russia, the U.K, the U.S., and elsewhere nominated Aylisli for the Nobel Peace Prize. Aylisli, whose case has been championed by PEN and other international human rights organizations, currently lives under house arrest in Azerbaijan.

Akram Aylisli books burning in Ganja RFL RE photo

Akram Aylisli’s books being burned in Ganja (photo: RFE/RL)


Learn more about this project here. See also Katherine Young’s “Art Talk” interview with Paulette Beete at the National Endowment for the Arts Art Works Blog here and her essay about this project for Words Without Borders here. Read PEN America’s January 2019 individual case report on Akram Aylisli here. View the conversation between Katherine Young and former U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan Richard Kauzlarich that marked the publication of Farewell, Aylis here (cosponsored by PEN America and Politics and Prose bookstore).



Translations of Xenia Emelyanova

KEY and Xenia Emelyanova Moscow 2014

With Xenia Emelyanova, 2014

Young’s translations of Russian poet Xenia Emelyanova were longlisted for the 2014 PEN/International New Voices Award and won third prize in the 2014 Joseph Brodsky-Stephen Spender Prize competition. Of Young’s translations, the 2014 Brodsky-Spender judges wrote:

Xenia Emelyanova’s ‘Spring rain beats on broken branches’ was a clear and sinuous rendering of the Russian – no radical refashioning, but a good sense of how to cleave close to the Russian without compromising an English poetic line…. Inna Kabysh’s poem ‘If the Train’s Already Gone’ was rendered into English by Katherine Young with a dynamic and compelling rhythm and forward motion, which nicely countered the sentiment of the poem: ‘If the train’s already gone, we must somehow live / at the station: in the toilet, snackbar, under the dusty / ficus, the ticket window’. (Sasha Dugdale)

Katherine Young’s translation of ‘Spring rain beats on broken branches’ by Xenia Emelyanova is a quiet unshowy poem that simply couldn’t be left behind. Its cadence has both a forlorn heartbeat and a freedom like birdsong. The sad eye takes me with it and the voice records what’s left, too grave to be asked questions. (Glyn Maxwell)

Additional translations of poems by Xenia Emelyanova appear in AsymptoteWaxwing, From the Fishouse, National Translation Month, Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art, and Fish: Five Fishouse Translators.



Translations of Inna Kabysh

KY and IK, cropped

With Inna Kabysh, 2014

Young’s translations of poems by Inna Kabysh won third prize in the 2011 Joseph Brodsky-Stephen Spender Prize competition and were commended by the judges of the 2012 Brodsky-Spender Prize. Additional translations have been published in Atlanta ReviewBlue Lyra Review, Exchanges, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Loch Raven Review, Matter, The Notre Dame Review, South Florida Poetry Journal, Subtropics, Trafika Europe, and Tupelo Quarterly. Blue Birds and Red Horses, a chapbook of poems translated from Inna Kabysh’s acclaimed Detsky mir, is available from Toad Press. Two Poems, a dual-language iPad edition of Kabysh’s poetry that includes text, audio, and video is available from Artist’s Proof Editions on iTunes. In 2016 a full-length collection of Kabysh’s poetry, Cat and Mouse, was named a finalist for the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation.






Translations of Tatiana Daniliyants, Lyudmyla Khersonska, Vladimir Kornilov, and more

k_young_1_t_daniliyants cropped

With Tatiana Daniliyants, 2014

Young’s translations of poems by Tatiana Daniliyants have been published in FaultlineThe Notre Dame ReviewTreci Trg (Serbia), Tupelo Quarterly, and The White Review. Translations of Lyudmyla Khersonska appear in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poem (UK), Poetry International, Tupelo Quarterly, Words Without Borders, and Words for War: New Poems from Ukraine (Academic Studies Press, 2017). Translations of poems by Iya Kiva appear in Asymptote. Translations of poems by Vladimir Kornilov appear in Innisfree Poetry Journal, Translation Review, and The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (Penguin Classics, 2015). Translations of 19 individual poems about Moscow (by Lermontov, Pavlova, Fet, Blok, Pasternak, Parnok, Tsvetaeva, Kabysh, Ermakova, and more) appear in 100 стихотворений о Москве. Антология (100 Poems about Moscow: an Anthology, OGI, 2017), winner of the 2017 Books of Russia award in Poetry.

A co-translation (with Olga Livshin) of Vladimir Druk’s “i go to the movies” appears at Anomaly (Anomalous Press).

Young has also translated the subtitles for two Russian documentary films: Dark Sky, White Clouds (2014) and Heritage: A Step into the Future (2016).






Need a Translator?

For projects other than poetry, Katherine Young charges between $0.17 and $0.25 per ENGLISH word for translation; additional charges apply for handwritten, highly technical, legal, literary, medical, multilingual, and rush service. Please note that the ENGLISH word count is usually about 30% higher than the original RUSSIAN word count because of the differences in the two languages. If you’d like Katherine Young to look at your text and give you a more precise estimate, contact her using this form. Please be aware that rates vary widely among translators.

Poetry projects are priced on an individual basis. For an estimate, contact Katherine Young using this form.

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