Letter From The Editor

Dear Readers,

Exchanges is pleased to present translations by Michael Goldman, Cynthia Graae, Johnny Lorenz, Rituparna Sengupta, J. Kates, Lizzy Kinch, Veronika Haacker-Lukács, Vasantha Sambamurti, Martyn Crucefix, Nancy Feng Liang, Umair Kazi, Nancy Naomi Carlson, and Esperanza Hope Snyder.

This issue is named Bound, after the figures of the poetry and fiction it contains. To be bound—bound to, bound for—suggests both determination and incapacity, motion and restraint, interval and point. And in being bound, whether by the quotidian, or by nature, time, fate, history, memory, convention, farce, they are so despite the possibility inherent in writing, its power to flout.

We suggest that the semantic tension of bound as it appears in these works of poetry and fiction—between the possible and the inevitable, will and fate—reflects the position of the translator.

 This issue then affords us the opportunity to consider the relative limits of the space of translation and the space of writing. As seemingly always in translation, the division blends: to whatever, wherever we are bound, our horizon is only as distinct or contiguous as sea against sky. A matter, in other words, of time, perspective, latitude, and climate. Translation is writing and not writing. Every original is not. Nothing is translatable and everything is. All interpretation is translation. To speak is to translate.

Moving together across different languages, receptions, and nations, present members of Exchanges have contributed to three of our past issues. Looking forward or back, we find only the permanent circumstance of the translator, her paradox:

Tether Without Bound

Bound Without Tether

For our contributors, editors, and friends whose patience and effort have created this issue, we are grateful.


Reid Dempsey and Shene Mohammed

 December 2021

Iowa City