Translating from Vietnamese

John Balaban, Professor Emeritus, North Carolina State University
Monday, November 8, 2021 -
12:30pm to 1:30pm
Virtual Lecture - Conducted in English
Monday, November 8, 2021 -
12:30pm to 1:30pm

Event Registration Link

Vietnamese literature has been fed by two great tributaries:  the indigenous oral literature and the written literature of Chinese influence.  In his talk, John Balaban will present examples of both traditions, including tape recordings that he made during the war of the sung ca dao poetry, followed by poems in the lu-shih tradition written by an extraordinary woman who flourished in the early 18th century, Hồ Xuân Hương.

John Balaban is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, including four volumes which together have won The Academy of American Poets' Lamont prize, a National Poetry Series Selection, and two nominations for the National Book Award.  His Locusts at the Edge of Summer: New and Selected Poems won the 1998 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.  In 2003, he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.  In 2005, he was a judge for the National Book Awards. He has read widely in the U.S. and abroad.  Balaban served as a conscientious objector during the war in Vietnam. In addition to writing poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, he is a translator of Vietnamese poetry, and a past president of the American Literary Translators Association. In 1999, with two Vietnamese friends, he founded the Vietnamese Nôm Preservation Foundation  ( In 2008, he was awarded a medal from the Ministry of Culture of Vietnam for his translations of poetry and his leadership in the restoration of the ancient text collection at the National Library. 

Sponsored by
Program in Translation & Intercultural Communication and the Department of East Asian Studies