One of the advantages of working in the used bookstore is getting a look at the books before they go out to the shelves.

Recently we received a sizable lot of books that had been translated into English from various languages: Japanese, Catalan, Icelandic, Afrikaans, Spanish, etc. I grabbed a small pile to read for myself, and now that I’ve quit my blindfold challenge, I feel free to read whichever books I want whenever I want.

The first book from my stack of translations was Elsewhere, a collection of poetry from many languages centered around the theme of an author finding themselves in new and often unfamiliar settings and locations. Open Letter Publishing is dedicated to providing access to world literature in English. They are a non-profit translation publisher at the University of Rochester, and they compiled this collection of poetry.

The poetry is varied in form and feel, some strong and biting, some warm and inviting.

My favorite was “Things I Didn’t Know I Loved”, which you can read here.

I really enjoyed reading perspectives from various cultures and voices.

Each poem is followed by a short paragraph about the author and their works.

4/5 stars. Too short.

Buy it here.

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