You will travel in a land of marvels. ―Jules Verne Only connect… ―E.M. Forster
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 Philology and Literature at the International Universities of Santander and Baeza, Spain; and German at the Goethe-Institut in Bremen, Germany, and Paris, both through Fellowships. 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, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and The Tenth Annual Gathering of Poets. She also works as a French Language Expert for Arbitration. A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, she is known for Chocolat, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Star Trek: Discovery, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, World War Z, Serendipity, and more. She is a member of the Parlement des écrivaines francophones and holds French, Spanish, and U.S. citizenships.
A poet, literary translator, actor, linguist, and dream analyst, Hélène is the recipient of over 20 awards and honors, including a Hemingway Grant, an Albertine and FACE Foundation Prize, and the Independent Press and International Book Awards. Her seven award-winning 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 The Abduction (Maram Al-Masri, White Pine Press, 2023), winner of an Albertine and FACE Foundation Prize, Beyond Elsewhere (Gabriel Arnou-Laujeac, White Pine Press 2016), winner of a Hemingway Grant, Ce que nous portons (Dorianne Laux, Éditions du Cygne 2014), and Birnam Wood (José Manuel Cardona, Salmon Poetry 2018). With Yves Lambrecht, she co-translated Walt Whitman’s Civil War Writings (Whitman et la Guerre de Sécession) (University of Iowa’s WhitmanWeb). She co-translated Terreurs de Frontières (Lauren Derby & Richard Turits, Dr. Watson Denis, Les Publications du Centre Challenges, Port-au-Prince, Haïti, 2022). A Romanian translation of Dreaming My Animal Selves (by Simona Modreanu) was published by Junimea Editions in 2016. Hélène’s own work has been translated into 19 languages.
She has also translated Rimbaud, Baudelaire, André Breton, Aloysius Bertrand, 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 AGNI, 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 Judge for the 2022 ALTA Translation Award in Poetry, 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. Hélène volunteers as a mentor for AWP’s Writer-to-Writer program and to read to children in schools. She is English Language Cultural Editor of Levure Littéraire, Contributing Editor to Cervena Barva Press, Co-Editor of Pratik: A Magazine of Contemporary Writing, Issue XVI/3, Chief Media Advisor for Envision Earth Media, Editorial Advisor of Envision Earth Magazine, former co-editor of Plume, Fulcrum: An Anthology of Poetry and Aesthetics, and Dublin Poetry Review, and contributes essays to The London Magazine and more. REVIEWS, INTERVIEWS & ESSAYS
CONFERENCE presentations include 14 panels with AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs), lectures at Brown University, the Miami Book Fair, the 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, Loyola Marymount University, the Theosophical Society, Claremont Graduate University, and the University of California at Irvine, among many.
AWARDS 2023 Albertine and FACE Foundation grant, 2022 and 2020 Independent Press Award, 2020 iWoman Global Award, Hemingway Grant, 2022 and 2020 NYC Big Book Award Distinguished Favorite, 2019 Naji Naaman Literary Prize, 2019 Julie Suk Honor, Fellowships from the Goethe-Institut and the Universidad Internacional de Andalucía, 3 Pinnacle Book Awards for Best Bilingual Poetry Book, 2019 and 2017 Best Book Awards in Poetry, 2017 International Book Award in Poetry, 2018, 2016, 2014 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards in Poetry, 2015 USA Best Book Award in Poetry, Durfee Foundation Grant. Finalist 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Award, 2016 Lascaux Prize in Collected Poetry. Certificate of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles for contribution toward the preservation of Indigenous Culture and Humanity.
2023 Idyllwild International Festival of Cinema Best Actress Winner: Hélène Cardona (Caralique)
Hélène wins the Vanguard Award for Cinematic Achievement by an Actress at the Scotland International Festival of Cinema and Best Supporting Actress at the Lady Filmmakers Festival and Beyond the Curve International Film Festival for her role of Arlette in the feature Caralique.
Winner Best Actress: 2022 V.I.Z. Film Festival, Tokyo International Monthly Film Festival.
Winner Best Supporting Actress: 2022 Indo French International Film Festival, 2022 Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, 2022 Beyond the Curve International Film Festival, 2022 Royal Society of Television & Motion Picture Awards, Virgin Spring Fest, 2022 Indo French International Film Festival, 2022 Druk International Film Festival
Best Supporting Actress Finalist: Swedish International Film Festival, Accord Cine Fest; Semi-Finalist: San Francisco Indie Short Festival; Golden Actress Nominee: Golden Short Film Festival
Hélène recurs as Monique in Season 2 of Upload, and stars as Arlette Linstron in the feature Caralique. She played Fuffi in Lasse Hallström’s Chocolat, the French Food Critic in The Hundred-Foot Journey, the French Engineer in Star Trek Discovery, the French Newscaster in The Romanoffs, a BBC Reporter in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and World War Z, Candy in Lawrence Kasdan’s Mumford, Mrs. Russell in Stealing Roses, and the French Announcer in Jurassic World, among many.
Hélène is the Computer Voice in the TV series Heroes Reborn and her many voice characters include Scoob!, 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; Vienna, Austria; 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/US, SAG-AFTRA, ALTA, AWP, PEN America, Poetry Society of America, American Academy of Poets, 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
Much gratitude to the following journals for publishing Hélène’s work:
Agenda Poetry, AGNI, Anastamos, Anomaly, Asian Signature; Askew Poetry; Asymptote Journal; Backstory Journal; Barnwood International Poetry Magazine; Blue Fifth Review; Blue Nib; California State Poetry Quarterly; Cha: An Asian Literary Journal; Colorado Review; Connotation Press: An Online Artifact; DoveTales Literary Journal; Drunken Boat; Dublin Poetry Review; Dublin Review of Books; East West: A Poetry Annual; Edgar Allan Poet; Exchanges Literary Journal; Fjords Review; Francopolis; From the Fishouse; Fulcrum: An Anthology of Poetry and Aesthetics; Hayden’s Ferry Review; jmww; InTranslation; Knot Magazine; Latin American Literature Today; Levure Litteraire; Mad Hatters’ Review; Maintenant; MĀNOA: A Pacific Journal of International Writing; Mediterranean Poetry; Mom Egg Review; Mythic Passages; National Translation Month; One; On the Seawall; Other Terrain Journal; Periódico de Poesía; Pirene’s Fountain; Plume Poetry; Poetic Diversity; Poetry East-West; Poetry International; Pratik A Magazine of Contemporary Writing; qarrtsiluni; Recours au Poème; Saint Julian Press; Salzburg Poetry Review; Speechless the Magazine; Spillway; TAB: The Journal of Poetry & Poetics; Taos Journal of Poetry & Art; Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built & Natural Environments; The BeZine; The American Journal of Poetry; The Blue Max Review; The Brooklyn Rail; The Creative Process, The Enchanting Verses Literary Review; The Irish Literary Times; The Lascaux Review; The London Magazine; The Los Angeles Review; The High Window; The Más Tequila Review; The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology; The Passionate Transitory; The Poet by Day; The Poetry Bus; The Toronto Quarterly; The Warwick Review; THRUSH Poetry Journal; Tiferet: A Journal of Spiritual Literature; Truck; Verse Daily; Washington Square Review; Waxwing Literary Journal; World Literature Today; Writer’s Digest.