The more we educate ourselves about other cultures, the more we understand one another. We then don’t look at “the other” or “the one who is different” or “the foreigner” in fear. People usually fear what they don’t understand. And by understanding where we come from we all get to know ourselves.

—Hélène Cardona

Beyond Elsewhere
by Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac

Beyond Elsewhere is a hauntingly beautiful narrative poem, a dance that at once touches on the universal and uniquely personal. With his debut collection, Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac establishes himself as one of French poetry’s most innovative new voices. His writing is lyrical, masterful, exquisite, an opening into the elusive, affirming the absolute necessity of listening to the world. Beyond Elsewhere is a symphonic poem with boundless language, where past and present meet.

Beyond Elsewhere was awarded a Hemingway Grant by the French Ministry of Culture, the Institut Français, and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

French author Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac’s poetic narrative is just exquisite – enough said.       —Andrew Singer, Trafika Europe 

Beyond Elsewhere was selected by Grace Cavalieri in the Washington Independent Review of Books in the May 2016 Exemplars: A roundup of the best poetry.

The disenchantment is an earthquake. It sweeps the memory of what was sacred, of what makes everything, of what is no longer. It takes it all away in its irresistible fall, even your shadow and light. It leaves you half dead buried under the rubble of a rupture that splits the earth, in a solitude peopled by silent shadows: possession and addiction, euphoria and lack, fusion and absence are millennial drugs whose hunger is vast and whose end is devastating.

—Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, translated by Hélène Cardona


Beyond Elsewhere by French poet Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, and translated by Hélène Cardona is a wonderfully lyric, mesmerizing poetic meditation on desire, love, the soul, and spirituality.  Beyond Elsewhere defies definition, hovering in that physical space somewhere above us, just beyond reach, but visible in a breathless lyrical cloud.  As Arnou-Laujeac states: “I now know human passion is exclusive, symbiotic, psychotropic, but that the key is the spell eluding it, the time that tears it to pieces.”  Arnou-Laujeac’s poems are psychotropic — a beautiful new voice in poetry.

—Victoria Chang, author of The Boss

“This is the absolute dawn,” Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac declares in the final pages of Beyond Elsewhere, a dazzling hymn to the currents of desire that shape each individual life. This is a testament to the ways in which love lights an invisible path to the morning when “Everything here is an Elsewhere.” Do not miss the chance to take this exhilarating journey.

—Christopher Merrill, author of Necessities

Beyond Elsewhere is a breathless testament to the transcendent power of love, ranging as it emerges from the poet’s pen, from the attraction between individuals to the diffuse but unmistakable connection between the soul and the universe from which it emerges and for which it serves as a kind of holy mirror. Cardona’s translation captures Arnou-Laujeac’s fervor in this series of prose poems that have captivated the attention of the French literati.

                                     —World Literature Today, May 2017 issue

Beyond Elsewhere by French poet Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, and translated by Hélène Cardona, creates a new mythopoetic language of transformation.

                                     Review by Ron Starbuck in Saint Julian Press



This incandescent metonym of light is, writ small, a marriage of eastern and western wisdoms — a Bildungsroman describing the arc of a young man’s journey from innocence, through passion and despair, to the great clarity of spiritual understanding. Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac’s intensely visual account, clothed in lyrical image and visionary flame, in Hélène Cardona’s transcendent translation, easily carries us along in his brightly burning chariot in quest of the Divine.

—Sidney Wade, author of Stroke

Hélène Cardona’s new translation confirms again her exquisite powers and imagination in turning Arnou-Laujeac’s amazing work into an English classic. She X-rays the original, and comes out with an inner picture faithful to beauty and the author’s flowing dexterity. Her singing flare illumines the English version, which is now the original. Discover Hélène’s invitation to voyage.

—Willis Barnstone, The Poetics of Translation (Yale)



In Arnou-Laujeac’s Beyond Elsewhere – through Hélène Cardona’s interpretative efforts – we find a lyrical narrative that is soaked in a saddening sense of loss, of exile and set alight by a persistent, gloriously hopeful search for the ineffable, the absolute.
Stylistically spontaneous and thematically deep, Beyond Elsewhere is a challenging read. Arnou-Laujeac effortlessly distills whole schools of knowledge in short verses and phrases.

             Review by Tulika Bahadur in On Art and Aesthetics

Ce que nous portons
by Dorianne Laux


Les poèmes de Dorianne Laux sont sensuels, passionnés, ancrés dans la terre et la vie de tous les jours ; ce sont des prières, des témoignages de rites de passage. Ils parlent de la maternité, du travail, de fraternité et d’amour. Elle nous dévoile des histoires terribles, des douleurs et joies profondes, ainsi que des actes de bonté et de rédemption. Pour Dorianne, “grâce à la poésie, nous restons conscients de l’importance de nos vies individuelles.” —Hélène Cardona

What We Carry was a Finalist of the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Dorianne Laux’s poetry is a poetry of risk; it goes to the very edge of extinction to find the hard facts that need to be sung. What We Carry includes poems of survival, poems of healing, poems of affirmation and poems of celebration.

That’s how it is sometimes —
God comes to your window,
all bright light and black wings,
and you’re just too tired to open it. 

from Dust

 Il en est ainsi parfois —
Dieu vient à ta fenêtre,
tout de lumière éclatant, avec des ailes noires,
et tu es juste trop fatiguée pour l’ouvrir.

from Poussière


Ce que nous portons ? De la nostalgie, des regrets, des envies, des parfums de bonheur, des chagrins enfouis… « Quelque soit le chagrin, son poids/nous sommes obligés de le porter ». Il faut lire Dorianne Laux  pour s’en convaincre — s’il en était besoin.

Critique de Pierre Tanguy dans Recours au Poème

Le vrai amour… la seule chose qui compte, qui reste, « que nous portons », plus que nos cœurs, nos corps, plus que nos idées, idéaux, combats, plus même que la vie et la mort, que nos proches ou nos perdus de vue, la trace de notre lien, de notre vérité intime, inconsciente, universelle, absolue – notre humanité.

 Critique de Vincent Motard-Avard dans La Cause Littéraire

Voici maintenant un livre qui porte, telles des nouvelles en puissance, les aventures quotidiennes d’une fée déguisée en personne-tout-le-monde : Dorianne Laux, traduite par Hélène Cardona… La fascination vient de l’immédiateté du réel, mais d’un réel qui se suspend. À force de l’avoir subi, vous êtes préparé à l’avènement. Car voilà, ce qui arrive dans ces poèmes, c’est que la narration s’arrête subitement… ou non, plutôt elle glisse…  Et c’est cette suspension qui fait le vrai événement, cet étonnement, qui crée le miracle que nous raconte la poète, à savoir, l’inénarrable moment de prise de conscience de l’envers du décor…

 Review by Dana Shishmanian in Francopolis

Whitman’s Civil War
La Guerre de Sécession de Whitman

co-translated by Hélène Cardona and Yves Lambrecht

International Writing Program, University of Iowa

The Civil War Writings retrace Walt Whitman’s writing and service as a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War

With commentaries by Ed Folsom and Christopher Merrill, which explore how writing and image can be used to examine war, conflict, trauma, and reconciliation — in Whitman’s time and today.

IWP WhitmanWeb

ONE breath, O my silent soul,
A perfum’d thought—no more I ask, for the sake of all
dead soldiers.    

—Walt Whitman, from “Hymn of Dead Soldiers”

UN souffle, Ô mon âme silencieuse,
Une pensée parfumée — je ne demande rien de plus,
pour le salut de tous les soldats morts.

—De « Hymne aux soldats morts »
translated by Hélène Cardona and Yves Lambrecht


I carry on in this island whipped by typhoons
Chained to the sea as the waves
Crash against the dam, and I proclaim you.
I scream, until hoarse, your beloved name.

—José Manuel Cardona    

Birnam Wood /
El Bosque de Birnam

(Salmon Poetry, 2018)

by José Manuel Cardona

Translated by Hélène Cardona

A bilingual collection in English and Spanish


………..                  Un poema de José Manuel Cardona, Eivissa

Translations in Literary Journals

Poem to Circe II and Poem to Circe XII by José Manuel Cardona in NATIONAL TRANSLATION MONTH

Four poems from Liberty Walks Naked by Maram Al-Masri in NATIONAL TRANSLATION MONTH

Poem to Circe XVIII by José Manuel Cardona in The American Journal of Poetry

Two poems from The Abduction by Maram Al-Masri in Anomaly (fka Drunken Boat) 25

Eight poems from Liberty Walks Naked by Maram Al-Masri in Anomaly (fka Drunken Boat) 25

Seven poems from The Abduction by Maram Al-Masri in Exchanges Literary Journal

Five Poems from Liberty Walk Naked  by Maram Al-Masri in Anastamos

Five Poems from I Look at You by Maram Al-Masri in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Issue 59

The Feminine, Land of Welcome by Christiane Singer in Asymptote

Translator’s Note, Asymptote

Poetry by Eric Sarner in The Brooklyn Rail’s InTranslation

Translator’s Note, The Brooklyn Rail’s InTranslation

Six Haikus from Rosetta  by Nicolas Grenier in TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics, Vol5, No4

Poem to Circe IV and Fountain in the Passage of the Bonfire by José Manuel Cardona in Plume

Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac‘s Beyond Elsewhere in the Weyward Sisters‘ Blog

Three poems from I Look at You by Maram Al-Masri in Plume 4

Poem to Circe XVII by José Manuel Cardona in The American Journal of Poetry

Entre las azucenas olvidado / Forgotten Amidst White Lilies by José Manuel Cardona in Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art

Poema a Circe XX / Poem to Circe XX by José Manuel Cardona in Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art

El hombre y la piedra / The Man and the Stone by José Manuel Cardona in Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art

An Excerpt from Beyond Elsewhere by Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac in Taos Journal of International Poetry and Art

An Excerpt from Beyond Elsewhere by Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac in The London Magazine

Two Excerpts from Beyond Elsewhere by Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, in Cha: An Asian Literary Journal

An Excerpt from Beyond Elsewhere by Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac in Fjords Review

An Excerpt from Beyond Elsewhere by Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac in The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology

Our bodies are wild swans by Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, in World Literature Today

An Excerpt from Beyond Elsewhere by Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac in NATIONAL TRANSLATION MONTH

Inhabited Elegy by José Manuel Cardona in NATIONAL TRANSLATION MONTH

From the Euxine Sea by José Manuel Cardona in NATIONAL TRANSLATION MONTH

Tom Smithson Dead in his Garret by José Manuel Cardona in World Literature Today

Montrouge Cemetery and Ibiza by José Manuel Cardona in Waxwing Magazine, Issue 3

Translation of Dorianne Laux in Recours au Poème

Translation of Dorianne Laux in Dublin Poetry Review, Issue 22

From The Space of the Spoken Word by Jean-Claude Renard in Washington Square Review, Summer/Fall 2012, Issue 30

Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Aloysius Bertrand in Poetry International, Issue 18/19

The Spell by José Manuel Cardona in TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics

An excerpt from Beyond Elsewhere by Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac in TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics

Three poems by Jean-Claude Renard in qarrtsiluni


I also cannot get the words of Christiane Singer out of my head. In her essay, “The Feminine, Land of Welcome,” translated from the French by Hélène Cardona, she writes to women, “stand bewitched and ready to leap: the queen, the sister, the lover, the friend, the mother—all those who have the genius for relationship, for welcoming. The genius for inventing life.” She highlights the danger of defining women only by their commonalities, as well as the horrors that could have come to pass—and could still—in a world without women. Their absence would be powerfully felt, even in comparison to situations in which they are already roundly ignored or discredited.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Madeline Jones, Asymptote Blog Editor

Skin has its aroma, its murmur,
Its fiery color and mystery.
Thus love begins with the skin,
With dark hair, and penetrates
Like a bull horn, to the bones.
To the bones, Circe, you’ve penetrated,
Into my deep bones that proclaim
The vertebrate pain of the species.
I open my blood in love and offer it to you

—José Manuel Cardona