Skip to content

Sharon Dolin is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Manual for Living (2016), Whirlwind (2012), and Burn and Dodge (2008), which won the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry.  She is also the author of a book of translations, Gemma Gorga’s Book of Minutes (2019), and a prose memoir, Hitchcock Blonde (2020).  The recipient of a 2021 NEA Fellowship in Translation, she lives in New York City, where she is Associate Editor of Barrow Street Press and directs Writing About Art in Barcelona.

Late to the House of Words

Saturnalia Books
2022 Shortlist
United States

Judges’ Citation

Sharon Dolin’s superb translation from Catalan reveals the power of this historically suppressed language, in the hands of a masterful poet, to offer new ways to understand the world where ‘home is the incorruptible verticality of the wind,’ or ‘the moisture every leaf imagines,’ or ‘the dignity of the body’.

Opening with the search ‘for some living syllable—sister to bread / and poverty—to bring to our lips,’ Gemma Gorga’s Late to the House of Words divines its own miraculous sustenance between the vision and the visionary, the physical and the metaphysical. Whether through gnawing on a pencil to find ‘the vagus nerve / of the word,’ or listening ‘to the rotation of sugar / in the cup, the rhythmic dissolution / of one body inside a darker one,’ these poems transform the objects and experiences of quotidian encounters into luminous moments of wonder. Sharon Dolin’s superb translation from Catalan reveals the power of this historically suppressed language, in the hands of a masterful poet, to offer new ways to understand the world where ‘home is the incorruptible verticality of the wind,’ or ‘the moisture every leaf imagines,’ or ‘the dignity of the body’.


See also