Mona Kareem on Translation as Kidnapping

Mona Kareem’s essay “Western Poets Kidnap Your Poems and Call Them Translations” lit up debates among translators and poets. In this episode Kareem talks about poetry, the power dynamics of translation, and the relationship of both to migration, exile, self-censorship, and publication. She also reads from her poetry, both in her own translation and in translation by poet @SaraFarag.

Essays by Mona Kareem

Western Poets Kidnap Your Poems and Call Them Translations

Bidoon: A Cause and Its Literature Are Born

Mapping Exile: A Writer’s Story of Growing Up Stateless in Post-Gulf War Kuwait

Self-translation Never Lands

Poetry by Mona Kareem

Eleven poems on Poetry International

Three poems in The Brooklyn Rail

More at Mona’s website,

Ahmed Naji’s essay Taming the Immigrant: Musings of a Writer in Exile

Subscribe to Our Newsletter