Home » Events » At The Inkwell San Francisco: National Translation Month featuring Dimitri Charalambous, Florencia Milito, Angelos Sakkis, Jack Hirschman | Alley Cat Books

At The Inkwell San Francisco: National Translation Month featuring Dimitri Charalambous, Florencia Milito, Angelos Sakkis, Jack Hirschman | Alley Cat Books

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Date(s) - 09/19/2016
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Alley Cat Books


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At The Inkwell partners with National Translation Month every September to encourage readers worldwide to celebrate literary works in translation from a variety of international authors both past and present.


  • Dimitri Charalambous
  • Florencia Milito
  • Angelos Skakis
  • Jack Hirschman

Dimitri Charalambous holds a BA and MA in History with an emphasis on Latin America. In the early 80’s he worked with a collective of translators which founded the periodical Compages — a multilingual vehicle presenting poetry from many languages. He is a poet who writes in English and Greek and has translated into Greek “Los Versos de Capitan” by Pablo Neruda. With Jack Hirschman, he has translated into English “John Coltrane and 15 Poems for Jazz” by Yannis Livadas. Most recently he organized and published, “Cross Section: An Anthology of Contemporary Greek Poetry” of Poems published in Greece from 2006 to 2011.He is a member of the Modern Greek Studies Foundation at SFSU and is active in the literary community of San Francisco.

Born in Argentina, Florencia Milito spent her early childhood in Venezuela and has lived in the U.S. since she was nine. She is a bilingual poet, essayist, and translator whose work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Indiana Review, Catamaran, Entremares, Digging through the Fat, Diálogo, and 92nd Street Y. She was the recipient of a Hedgebrook Foundation residency in 2007 and a reader at the XIX Festival Internacional de Poesía de Rosario in 2011. This past year she was a CantoMundo fellow and a Hazel All Stars Reader at the Litquake literary festival in San Francisco. As a professional translator, she has worked on a wide range of texts, including music criticism, international economics research, short fiction, poetry, children’s literature, news articles and interviews, and a traveling civil liberties exhibit. From 2009-2011 she lived in her native city of Rosario where she translated several contemporary Argentine poets into English.

Born in 1946 in Pireus, Angelos Skakis studied design at the Athens Technological Institute. Worked for a time as an assistant to the painter Spyros Vassiliou, and collected the material for “Fota kai Skies” (“Lights and Shadows”), a volume on Vassiliou’s work, published in Athens in 1969. After immigrating to the U.S in 1970, he went on to earn a BFA, San Francisco Art Institute 1989. His artwork has been shown in group and one-man shows and is found in collections in Greece and the U. S. His poetry has appeared in the Ambush Review, Try magazine and Helenic Voices. He has been translating, with John Sakkis, the work of poet/multimedia artist Demosthenes Agrafiotis. Their translation of “Maribor” was published by Post Apollo Press in 2010 and received the 2011 Northern California Book Award for Poetry in Translation. Their translation of “Chinese notebook” was published by Ugly Duckling Presse in 2011, and “Now 1/3 and “thepoem” by Blaze Vox in 2012. His translation of “When Snow Fell on the Lemon Tree Blossoms” by Leonidas Petrakis was published by Pella in 2012. His poetry collections “Memory-of” and “Fictional Character” were published by Zarax Books in 2012. He lives in Oakland, California.

Jack Hirschman was born in 1933 in New York City and grew up in the Bronx. A copyeditor with the Associated Press in New York as a young man, his earliest brush with fame came from a letter Ernest Hemingway wrote to him, published after Hemingway’s death as “A Letter to a Young Writer.” Hirschman earned degrees from City College of New York and Indiana University, where he studied comparative literature. He was a popular and innovative professor at UCLA in the 1970s, before he was fired for his anti-war activities. Hirschman has lived in California ever since, making an artistic and political home in the North Beach district of San Francisco. He is known for his radical engagement with both poetry and politics: he is a member of the Union of Street Poets, a group that distributes leaflets of poems to people on the streets. He has also been instrumental in the formation of the Union of Left Writers of San Francisco. The former poet laureate of San Francisco, Hirschman’s style has been compared to poets ranging from Walt Whitman, Hart Crane, Dylan Thomas, and Beat poets such as Allen Ginsberg. His poems’ commitment to leftist politics draws comparisons to Vachel Lindsay and Pablo Neruda. A communist since 1980, Hirschman told Contemporary Authors: “It is vitally important at this time that all poets and artists collectivize and form strong socialist cadres in relation to working-class cultural internationalism.”

In keeping with his political values, Hirschman’s books are published with small, independent presses, often in small runs. Though Hirschman has rejected mainstream success, he has published prolifically. His 50-plus volumes of poetry include A Correspondence of Americans (1960), Lyripol (1976), Front Lines: Selected Poems (2002), and All That’s Left (2008). His 1,000-page masterpiece, The Arcanes, was published in 2006.

Hirschman has been hailed as “one of the left’s most prolific and consistent poetic voices,” by Contemporary Poets. But while he is known throughout San Francisco, his real literary fame has blossomed in Europe, where he frequently publishes both his original work and volumes of translation. Meltzer noted that in France “they consider him a major Communist poet.” Part of Hirschman’s dedication to politics and poetry can be traced to his numerous translations of radical poets from around the world. The many languages he has translated include Russian, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Albanian, Yiddish, Vietnamese, and Creole. In interviews, Hirschman has acknowledged his political involvement began by reading Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, as well as through his contact and friendship with the Beats.

Hirschman continues to explore the political nature of poetry. As Contemporary Poetry concluded, “He is a tireless presence at rallies, demonstrations, and benefits, and he remains one of the most galvanizing readers of poetry performing today… his work resonates with an insistent reminder of the American and international radical continuum.”

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