PhD candidate Brian Sneeden receives PEN/Heim Translation Grant

From the PEN list of winners:
Brian Sneeden
for his excellent translation from the Greek of Phoebe Giannisi’s poetry collection, Rhapsodia:

Sneeden’s lyrical translations bring the music of Giannisi’s poetry to life with new vividness, guiding the reader along the boundaries between myth and identity, language and the body. Larger in scope than the poet’s English debut, Homerica, this collection explores the themes of selfhood and otherness, testing the limits of the lyric “I” through history, place, and time.

Do the wings itch as they sprout?

When from the belly’s opening            

you first raised your head                     

and pushing from the pain                   

sprang into the light

to cry out,

were your eyes open?

Did you listen to their words                

as they held, gently                               

your contorted body                                                                 

gathered, legs tucked                            

and the day warm?

A woman giving birth

on the floor of her car—

is each growth                                      

painful as the first?