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Soul House: A Book Reading with Mireille Gansel and Joan Seliger Sidney

Feb 8 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

On left, 2 photos of older women. On right, dark blue background with type: Soul House A Book Reading with Mireille Gansel and Joan Seliger Sidney and logos for Berkeley Center for Jewish Studies, the Magnes, and UC Berkeley English

Presented by Berkeley Center for Jewish Studies, Department of English, and the Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life.

Join us for a bilingual reading featuring acclaimed French poet and translator Mireille Gansel and her English translator, poet Joan Seliger Sidney, on the occasion of the publication of Soul House (World Poetry, 2023), Gansel’s first book of poetry in English translation and her second book in English since her important contribution to Translation Studies, Translation as Transhumance (Feminist Press, 2017). The reading will be followed by a discussion with the author and translator.

Thursday, February 8, 2024 | 5:00 – 6:30pm

In person at The Magnes Collection, 2121 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA

In her first book of poetry to appear in English, acclaimed French-Jewish poet, translator, and translation-theorist Mireille Gansel crisscrosses time and extends hospitality to exiled poets and peoples in her quest to recreate a lost literary and spiritual home. In these war-torn days, Gansel strives to describe what we have in common, creating a crossroads of people, places, and languages she has loved. Soul House is translated by Jewish-American poet Joan Seliger Sidney and includes a preface by Fanny Howe.

If you have any questions about accessibility or require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact us at magnes@berkeley.edu or call us at (510) 643-2526 with as much advance notice as possible.

About Mireille Gansel
Mireille Gansel has won major awards for both her translations of German and Vietnamese poets, and for some of her seven books of poetry. Her lyrical memoir, Translation as Transhumance—published in an English translation by Ros Schwartz—has contributed significantly to the field of translation studies. She received the Veu Lliure 2021 Prize from the Catalan PEN. In 2018, Mireille became the Laureate of the Great Prize of Translation Etienne Dolet-Sorbonne Université. Other awards include the Khoury-Ghata poetry prize, the Gérald de Nerval translation prize, an English PEN Award, and a French Voices Award. Soul House (World Poetry, 2023) is her first book of poetry in English translation.

About Joan Seliger Sidne
Joan Seliger Sidney’s books of poetry include Body of Diminishing Motion, Bereft and Blessed, and The Way the Past Comes Back. Her translations, poems, and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in many literary journals and anthologies, including The Common and Asymptote, and have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She is Writer-in-Residence at University of Connecticut’s Center for Judaic Studies and has received several fellowships from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the Vermont Studio Center, and a Visiting Faculty Fellowship from Yale University. Her translation of Mireille Gansel’s Soul House was published by World Poetry in November 2023.


Magnes Collection of Jewish Life and Art
2121 Allston Way
Berkeley, CA 94720 United States
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