Patricio Ferrari

BA, MAS, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle. MFA, Brown University. PhD, Universidade de Lisboa. Poet, polyglot literary translator, and editor. His most recent editions and translations are The Galloping Hour: French Poems by Alejandra Pizarnik (with Forrest Gander; New Directions, 2018) and The Complete Works of Alberto Caeiro by Fernando Pessoa (with Margaret Jull-Costa; New Directions, 2020). Forthcoming translations include Verde amargo (with Guglielmone; Buenos Aires Poetry, 2022), The Complete Works of Alvaro de Campos by Pessoa (with Jull-Costa; New Directions, 2023), and Habla terreña by Frank Stanford (with Guglielmone; Pre-Textos, 2023). Ferrari’s work appears in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Southwest Review, The Brooklyn Rail, Buenos Aires Poetry, Perfil, and Words Without Borders, among others. Ferrari is currently working on “Elsehere,” a multilingual poetry trilogy. He collaborates with the Endangered Language Alliance, a nonprofit organization in New York City focused on linguistic diversity within urban areas worldwide. SLC, 2022–

Graduate Courses 2022-2023

MFA Writing

The Craft of Translation: Expanding Across Tongues


Literary translation encompasses numerous interdisciplinary fields, including comparative literature, linguistics, cultural studies, and creative writing; therefore, this craft course will touch on all of these aspects at varying and overlapping intervals. Dynamically designed, the program will proceed conceptually and cumulatively––mixing history, theory, and practice. “Perhaps a time will come when a translation will be considered as something in itself,” said Jorge Luis Borges during one of his Norton Lectures in 1968. That time may have arrived. To find out, we will delve into a wide selection of literary works (poetry and fiction) alongside their respective English translation. Some of the languages and authors include, but are not limited to: Spanish (Borges, Pizarnik, Bracho), Portuguese (Pessoa, Lispector), French (Baudelaire, Jaccottet), Italian (Campana), German (Rilke), Swedish (William-Olsson), Hindi (Varma), and English (Merwin, Gander). Reading as translators, we will reflect on common translation challenges—such as style, false friends, Latinate/Germanic choices, and prosody—as well as on generative aspects of retranslation, co-translation, and transcreation. Curiosity, rigor, collaboration, and play will accompany us on this journey between voices and between languages. While English is the target language of the course, for the final semester project each student will choose to translate a literary work written in a source language of his or her choice. This course aims to help participants become better readers and writers of literature. Open to all MFA in Writing students––with experience in one or more foreign languages or none, for that matter! Come with a native language and leave with a world under the tongue.