Joel Katz and Robert Perry

Joel Katz

Poet and translator Joel Katz lives in Palo Alto, California. His poems have appeared in various literary journals, including Sand Hill Review, The Montserrat Review, West Wind Review, Disquieting Muses Quarterly, Spillway, and Red Wheelbarrow. His chapbook

Away was published by Mayapple Press in 2008. Together with Robert Perry, Joel has translated poems by contemporary Dutch poets Ingmar Heytze and Saskia Stehouwer for the bilingual book iets anders | something else (Dutch Poet Press, 2017). With Saskia, they published a translation of her recent volume of ecopoetry Vrije uitloop | Free range (Dutch Poet Press, 2019). Joel is a member of the Bay Area Literary Translators Working Group (BALTWG) and the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA).

Robert Perry

Robert Perry is a poet and translator, book artist and designer, and founder of Dutch Poet Press, a small imprint of books of poetry and art as trade books, letterpress editions and ephemera, and artist books, including translations of contemporary Dutch poetry. He has experience in corporate and nonprofit communication with education and training in visual art, art history, and book arts with a BA in art history from UC Berkeley and MA in art history from Indiana University. He lives and works in Palo Alto, California.

Saskia Stehouwer

Saskia Stehouwer is a poet and translator who lives near Amsterdam. She studied Dutch and English literature at the University of Amsterdam and worked for over ten years as an editor and project manager at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Her debut collection of poetry Wachtkamers (Waiting Rooms) was published by Uitgeverij Marmer in 2014 and awarded the prestigious Cornelis Buddingh’ Prize in 2015. Saskia’s second volume Vrije uitloop (Free range) was published in 2016, also by Uitgeverij Marmer. Her latest work published this year is Bindweefsel (Connective Tissue), a limited edition of poems handmade with compostable material and plant ink.      

Poem by Saskia Stehouwer with English translation by Joel Katz, Robert Perry, and Saskia Saskia Stehouwer. Published in Vrije uitloop | Free range by Dutch Poet Press in April 2019.

Voor de boeg

de boten houden zich stil
tot het eiland hen gevonden heeft

in hun dromen ontwerpen de roeiers het land
voelen hoe hun tenen het zand raken
zien hoe de schildpad rechtsomkeert maakt

in hun hoofd ontwaakt het vermoeden van een stad

ze zien waar een groep vogels afbuigt
hoe de golven hun schuim verdelen
stapels wolken het eiland verraden

ze staan rechtop zodat de wind door kan waaien
omdat er niets meer is dat tegenhoudt

Ahead of the prow

the boats stay still
until the island has found them

in their dreams the rowers design the land
feel how their toes touch the sand
see how the turtle turns itself around

in their head the view of a city awakens

they see where a group of birds branches off
how the waves separate their foam
heaps of clouds betray the island

they stand tall so the wind can blow through them
as there is nothing left that gets in the way