Idra Novey

2004 EP. NO. 2
IDRA NOVEY is a writer and translator who has both studied in Chile and taught for two years at the Catholic University of Valparaíso in the Literature and Translation Department. Her admiration of the extraordinary resolve and talent of Chilean women writers led her to initiate a collection of personal essays by Chilean women writers that she is now translating into English.

She has written on Latin American women writers for City Limits Magazine, Lifestyles Magazine, and El Mercurio de Valparaíso, one of Chile’s principal newspapers. Her writing and translations have also appeared in various American and Chilean publications including Review: Latin American Literature and Art, Poetry International, Rattapallax, Circumference, The Café Review, Cimarron Review, Antietum Review, and Voces Emergentes, a poetry anthology published in 2001 by a Chilean university press.


“Literature offers a window into the interior world of other individuals & their culture . . .”


Novey has worked as a translator for the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Columbia University’s Translation Agency, and the Catholic University of Chile. In 2003, she was a recipient of a Hertog Fellowship for arts research from Columbia University, and in 2000 she received the Helene Searcy Culs Poetry Prize from Barnard College. She worked as an artist-in-residence at PS-132 in Washington Heights, where she conducted poetry workshops with elementary school students. She also taught writing workshops at Manhattan Center High School, the Double Discovery Center, and in Columbia University’s Summer Program for High School Students. Novey is currently a Merit Fellow in Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts and Poetry Editor of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art.

artistic statement

When I travel to a new city, neighborhood, or country, I enter every bookstore. Literature offers a window into the interior world of other individuals and their culture as they have experienced it in a way unlike any other art form. As a translator, I am fascinated by the challenge of figuring out how to bring that unique interior world into English without muting its subtleties. In my own writing, as in my translations, I hope to contribute something new to the existing literature already available in the US. I hope to be a political writer, by that I mean purposeful, motivated by social awareness and a desire to recognize injustices and the exclusion of certain voices and experiences from what we call American Literature.

Last updated 2009.

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