Nancy Kline’s translation (with Mary Ann Caws) of Lorand Gaspar’s Earth Absolute and Other Texts, forthcoming from Contramundum Press, is her ninth book. Earlier books include a novel, a critical study of René Char’s poetry, a biography of Elizabeth Blackwell, and translations of Char, Paul Eluard, Jules Supervielle and other modern French poets. Kline’s short stories, essays, memoirs and flash nonfictions have appeared widely, most recently in Hawaii Pacific Review and The Prose Poem Project. She reviews for the New York Times Sunday Book Review and has received a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Grant. Shewas Founding Director of the Barnard Writing Program for many years and has taught writing at Harvard and UCLA and French language and literature at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and Wellesley. She currently teaches for Poets & Writers and the Bard Prison Initiative, and is an Associate of the Bard Institute for Writing & Thinking. She is at work on a book of creative nonfiction entitled Other Geographies and a memoir entitled Hunger and Return.
They tell me I was born in 1925 in a small town in eastern Transylvania, whose acquaintance I was able to make a few years later. My parents met there, following the war of 1914-18, though both hailed from the harsh villages of the high Carpathian plateaus; my father had come to find a job after his discharge. As the child of novice city dwellers and happy to be so, I eagerly waited for vacations when I could return “behind the back of God,” as they used to say.