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Poet Lyn Coffin Translates Jiri Orten's 'A Small Elegy'

Elizabeth Austen

Seattle–based poet and playwright Lyn Coffin has been translating the poems of a little–known Czech Jew named Jiri Orten, who had been living in Prague during the Nazi occupation of World War II.

It's a labor of love; Coffin considers Orten one of the most significant poets of the 20th century. Today, she reads "A Small Elegy" from "White Picture," a collection of her translations of Orten's poems (Night Publishing, 2011).

Coffin is the author of three books of poetry and four books of translation. Her plays have been produced in New York and internationally, and one of her essays appears in Best American Short Stories 1979, edited by Joyce Carol Oates. She was recorded in the KUOW Studios on December 2, 2011.

Web Extra: Lyn Coffin talks about the process of translating Orten's work.

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