A life lived in complete awe. —Antonio D’Alfonso, The Pacific Rim Review of Books
A citizen of the United States, France and Spain, Hélène Cardona is fluent in English, French, Spanish, German, Greek and Italian. Born in Paris of a Greek mother and Spanish father and raised all over Europe, she studied English Philology and Literature in Cambridge, England (Royal Society of Arts Translation Diploma); Spanish at the International Universities of Santander and Baeza, Spain; and German at the Goethe Institute in Bremen, Germany. She attended Hamilton College, New York, where she also taught French and Spanish, and the Sorbonne, Paris, where she wrote her thesis on Henry James for her MA in American Literature. She worked as a translator/interpreter for the Canadian Embassy and taught at the École Active Bilingue in Paris and at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
A poet, literary translator, actor, and dream analyst, Hélène is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including a Hemingway Grant and the International and Best Book Awards. Her books include three bilingual poetry collections: Life in Suspension (Salmon Poetry, 2016); Dreaming My Animal Selves (Salmon Poetry, 2013); The Astonished Universe (Red Hen Press, 2006); and the translations Beyond Elsewhere (Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, White Pine Press 2016), Ce que nous portons (Dorianne Laux, Éditions du Cygne 2014), and Birnam Wood (José Manuel Cardona, Salmon Poetry 2018), winner of a Julie Suk Honor. With Yves Lambrecht, she co-translated Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings (Whitman et la Guerre de Sécession) for WhitmanWeb.
A Romanian translation of Dreaming My Animal Selves (by Simona Modreanu ) was published by Junimea Editions in 2016.
Hélène’s work has been translated into 16 languages.
She has also translated Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Aloysius Bertrand, Maram Al-Masri, Christiane Singer, Eric Sarner, René Depestre, Ernest Pépin, Jean-Claude Renard, Jacques Crickillon, and Nicolas Grenier into English, and John Ashbery, John FitzGerald, Maggie Smith, and the Lawrence Bridges’ film Muse of Fire into French. Hélène also writes children stories and co-wrote with John FitzGerald the screenplay Primate, based on his novel.
Publications include Washington Square Review, World Literature Today, Poetry International, The Irish Literary Times, The Brooklyn Rail’s InTranslation, Dublin Review of Books, Asymptote, Waxwing Literary Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Los Angeles Review, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Colorado Review, Salzburg Poetry Review, Drunken Boat, Anomaly, The Warwick Review, among over a hundred.
EDITORIAL Hélène has served as a judge for the 2017 Jacar Press Full Length Competition, the 2016 PEN Center USA Translation Award, the 2015 Writer’s Digest Challenge, and the 2014 Rabindranath Tagore Award. She volunteered as a mentor for AWP’s Writer-to-Writer program.
CONFERENCE presentations include 13 panels with AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs), presentations at Brown University, the 2014 Puterbaugh International Literary Festival at Oklahoma State University, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Poets House, Tabula Poetica at Chapman University, the University of Rochester, the New York Browning Society, the Thesophical Society, and the University of California at Irvine, among many.
AWARDS 2019 Naji Naaman Literary Prize, Hemingway Grant, Fellowships from the Goethe-Institut and the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía, 2019 Julie Suk Honor, 3 Pinnacle Book Awards for the Best Bilingual Poetry Book, 2017 International Book Award in Poetry, 2017 Best Book Award in Poetry, 2015 USA Best Book Award in Poetry, 2 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards in Poetry, and a grant from the Durfee Foundation. Certificate of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles for contribution toward the preservation of Indigenous Culture and Humanity.
Hélène co-edits Plume and Fulcrum: An Anthology of Poetry and Aesthetics, contributes essays to The London Magazine, is English Language Cultural Editor of Levure Littéraire, Contributing Editor to Cervena Barva Press, Chief Media Advisor for Envision Earth Media and Editorial Advisor of Envision Earth Magazine. Reviews, Interviews & Essays
Hélène played Fuffi in Lasse Hallström’s Chocolat, Candy in Lawrence Kasdan’s Mumford, Mrs. Russell in Stealing Roses, the French Engineer in Star Trek Discovery, the French Newscaster in The Romanoffs, the French Food Critic in The Hundred-Foot Journey, a BBC Reporter in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and World War Z, and the French Announcer in Jurassic World, among many.
She is the Computer Voice in the TV series Heroes Reborn and her many voice characters include Happy Feet 2 and Muppets Most Wanted. For Serendipity, she co-wrote with Peter Chelsom & Alan Silvestri the song Lucienne, which she also sang.
She graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and also trained with Ellen Burstyn and Sandra Seacat at The Actors’ Studio.
Her ten producing credits include the award-winning documentary Femme and Pablo Neruda: The People’s Poet. She also works as a translator and language coach in the film & music industry.
Hélène has lived in Paris, France; Geneva, Switzerland; Cambridge and London, England; Llandudno, Wales; Monte-Carlo, Monaco; Bremen, Germany; Madrid, Tarragona, Santander and Baeza, Spain; New York City and Santa Monica. She has also worked in Morocco, Lithuania and Italy.
She is a yoga practitioner, dancer, equestrian, and animal lover.
Member of BAFTA/LA, SAG-AFTRA, PEN America, ALTA, Poetry Society of America, American Academy of Poets, AWP, VIDA.
We all know how to return home. No matter how long it’s been, we find our way.
—Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves
The soul should always stand ajar,
ready to welcome the ecstatic experience ―Emily Dickinson
The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence becomes an act of rebellion. —Albert Camus