NüVoices Podcast #8: Eleanor Goodman on the art of translating Chinese poetry

In the eighth episode of the NüVoices Podcast, Alice Xin Liu, writer and translator, interviews Eleanor Goodman with guest host Lijia Zhang, author of Socialism Is Great! and most recently Lotus, and board member of the NüVoices Collective. Eleanor is the noted translator of Wáng Xiǎonī 王小妮, a poet who has been associated with the Misty Poets (朦胧诗派 ménglóngshī pài) but who is so much more, having penned 25 books of published poetry. Currently a research associate at the Fairbank Center at Harvard University, Eleanor has many accolades under her belt, including a stint as a resident of the M Literary Residency Programme in Shanghai and the winner of the 2015 Lucien Stryk Prize. She is renowned in the literary translation world as one of the foremost translators of Chinese poetry into English. Her own book of poetry is Nine Dragon Island.

In this episode, Alice and Lijia ask Eleanor about her translation of workers’ poetry, Iron Moon, and about her experience writing her own poetry. In addition, Eleanor reads from her poetry collection and her book of translations of Wang Xiaoni.

For self-care, Lijia recommends dinner parties, Alice recommends reaching out for help in times of crisis, and Eleanor recommends setting a daily page count of writing and academic work, and stopping when it is reached.