Faculty Profile

Kristin Dykstra, PhD

Distinguished Scholar in Residence

M.A., Ph.D. SUNY at Buffalo
B.A. Amherst College

Areas of Expertise:

Literatures and Cultures of the United States, US Latino/a Literatures, Transnational Exchange in the Americas, Cuban literature, Literary Translation, and American Studies

Courses I Teach:

  • Foundations of US Latino/a Literatures and Cultures
  • Introduction to Cuban Literatures and Cultures
  • Spanish 101
  • First Year Seminar (as Place and Placelessness)
  • Politics and Literature (as Transnational Literatures in the Americas)
On the U.S. front, my projects include articles about literature by Cuban-American and Chilean-American authors. In a more international framework I work with Latin American writers. I'm translating books by Omar Pérez (Cuba), Marcelo Morales (Cuba), and Amanda Berenguer (Uruguay). I've been working with Havana writer Reina María Rodríguez since the 1990's.
  • 2014 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation. More info

  • National Endowment for the Arts: Literary Translation Fellow, 2012. For the translation of Catch and Release, by Reina María Rodríguez.  More info

  • Banff Centre (Alberta, Canada), Self-Directed Literary Arts Residency, Translation. September 2009. 

  • Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarly Achievement. Illinois State University, College of Arts and Sciences. 2007-8. 

  • Teaching Initiative Award, College of Arts and Sciences. Illinois State University. 2005-6.

Kristin Dykstra, distinguished scholar in residence in American studies, gave two presentations in October for the University of Chicago’s creative writing series, Poem Present.  In summer and fall 2016, the University of Alabama Press released two more bilingual editions of contemporary Cuban poetry with Dykstra’s scholarly introduction and translations:  Breach of Trust, by Angel Escobar, and The World as Presence, by Marcelo Morales.  In July Dykstra gave a presentation on a different poet, Rito Aroche, for the Americas Society in New York. Links for the books:

Breach of Trust


The World as Presence


(posted November 2016)

Kristin Dykstra, distinguished scholar in residence in American Studies, had her translations and scholarly introduction featured in The Counterpunch (and Other Horizontal Poems), by Cuban writer Juan Carlos Flores, published in early 2016 by the University of Alabama Press.  She spoke on panels about literary translation at Havana’s 2016 international book fair and at the Latin American Studies Association’s international congress in New York. Link for the new book:   http://www.amazon.com/Counterpunch-Horizontal-contragolpe-poemas-horizontales/dp/0817358137/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1455136551&sr=8-1&keywords=juan+carlos+flores
(posted June 2016)

Kristin Dykstra, Distinguished Scholar in Residence in American Studies, gave invited presentations at the University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers-Newark alongside Cuban poet Reina María Rodríguez in September 2015, following Rodríguez’s visit to the Saint Michael’s campus.  From summer into fall Dykstra wrote a commentary series, “Intermedium,” for the University of Pennsylvania digital poetics magazine Jacket2 (http://jacket2.org/commentary/kristin-dykstra).  The University of Alabama Press accepted her book-length translation of a new work by Marcelo Morales, The World As Presence / El mundo como ser, with her critical introduction, for publication in 2016.  She finished an article on Chilean-American writer Daniel Borzutzky, addressing transnational aspects of his work, which was solicited for American Poets in the 21st Century: Global Poetics and is forthcoming from Wesleyan University Press.
(posted January 2016) 

Kristin Dykstra, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, won the inaugural Gulf Coast Literary Translation prize, announced in early 2015, with excerpts from her new book in progress with Marcelo Morales Cintero (http://gulfcoastmag.org/contests/prize-in-translation/). In December 2014, the University of Alabama Press released Other Letters to Milena / Otras cartas a Milena, her bilingual edition of a book by Reina María Rodríguez.  Kristin’s essay on the challenges of translating Angel Escobar’s abject poetry in the polarized context of contemporary US/Cuba relations appeared in the March 2015 Translation Issue of The Volta’s “Evening Will Come.”  Other translations featuring Omar Pérez, Soleida Ríos, and Escobar appeared in BOMB Daily, Orion’s recent dossier on Cuban culture, and Lana TurnerPrime Matter, her anthology of poetry by Uruguay’s famous Amanda Berenguer co-edited with Kent Johnson, was just accepted by Ugly Duckling Presse. In April she speaks at Brown University and New York University events as both translator and scholar, alongside Rodríguez.
(posted April 2015)

Kristin Dykstra, Distinguished Scholar in Residence (American Studies), translated Other Letters to Milena / Otras cartas a Milena, a mixed genre book by Cuban writer Reina María Rodríguez, which will be released by the University of Alabama Press in December.  Kristin also wrote the critical introduction to the book.  She presented "NO: The Translation of Ángel Escobar" at the American Literary Translators Association conference in November 2014, as well as presenting poetry by Amanda Berenguer of Uruguay in a bilingual readings session.  Selected poems from her manuscripts featuring Berenguer, Juan Carlos Flores [Cuba], Marcelo Morales [Cuba], and Rodríguez appeared this fall in Lana Turner, MAKE: A Chicago Literary Magazine, West Branch, Golden Handcuffs Review, and Asymptote. www.kdykstra.net
(posted December 2014)

Kristin Dykstra, Distinguished Scholar in Residence (American Studies), presented “Two Ways of Writing Across a Wake,” a talk about poetry and nonfiction by Soleida Ríos, for a Cuban studies panel at the Latin American Studies Association's national congress in Chicago, May 24-26.  Dykstra’s translations of poetry by Uruguayan writer Amanda Berenguer are forthcoming in the next Lana Turner journal, and her translations of work by Marcelo Morales and Reina María Rodríguez (Cuba) will be in the next issues of MAKE:  A Chicago Literary Magazine and West Branch.  Six poems by Juan Carlos Flores, also in Dykstra´s translation, appeared in the latest Golden Handcuffs Review.
(posted August 2014)

Three bilingual editions of Cuban poetry and prose are forthcoming from the University of Alabama Press, starting in 2014: Other Letters to Milena, by Reina María Rodríguez; Breach of Trust, by Ángel Escobar; and The Counterpunch (And Other Horizontal Poems), by Juan Carlos Flores.

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