Kristin Dykstra Distinguished Scholar in Residence


Ph.D. SUNY at Buffalo
M.A., 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:

  • First Year Seminar (as Place and Placelessness)
  • American Studies 227: Foundations of US Latinx Literatures & Cultures
  • Junior Seminar: Land, Sea, Sky (Chile focus)
  • Junior Seminar: A Nation Inside and Out (Cuba focus)
  • Honors Colloquium


Kristin Dykstra writes about people, places, and culture, with a special interest in motions and intersections amongst the Americas. Much of her research is interdisciplinary. Some publications are scholarly, while others are works of literary translation.

Her scholarly publications discuss literature of the United States, such as the recent “EXCUSE ME MR. BORZUTZKY / If,” a chapter on Daniel Borzutzky for American Poets in the Twenty-First Century: Poetics of Social Engagement (Wesleyan University Press). Dykstra also writes scholarship about Latin American works, usually as companion pieces to her translations. In 2018 she guest-edited a dossier dedicated to the late Cuban writer Juan Carlos Flores for The Chicago Review.

Dykstra has translated works by numerous authors. She is principal translator of a book by Cuban writer Reina María Rodríguez, The Winter Garden Photograph (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019), named a Finalist for the 2020 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. With Kent Johnson, Dykstra co-edited and co-translated the 2019 anthology Materia Prima, featuring the late Uruguayan poet Amanda Berenguer (also published by Ugly Duckling Presse). The University of Alabama Press published her bilingual editions of literature by Reina María RodríguezJuan Carlos FloresAngel Escobar, and Marcelo Morales in 2014 and 2016, and her translation of Morales’s The World as Presence was longlisted for the 2017 National Translation Award. Her rendition of Cubanology, a multilingual book of days by Omar Pérez, appeared with Station Hill in 2018. Dykstra has also translated essays by Chilean author Raúl Zurita. Locally, she translated poems by Vermont writer Tina Escaja, pictured in this photo essay that Dykstra created for “Intermedium” — a series of 29 short, alphabetical commentaries that Dykstra wrote for the University of Pennsylvania poetics journal Jacket2.

The Winter Garden Photograph:
Materia Prima:

Awards + Recognition

Recent News

Kristin Dykstra, distinguished scholar in residence at Saint Michael’s, was named a Finalist for the 2020 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. She is principal translator and wrote the introduction for the book that was nominated, The Winter Garden Photograph, by Cuban writer Reina María Rodríguez; the book includes twelve poems that Kristin co-translated with Nancy Gates Madsen and was published by Ugly Duckling Presse in 2019. She also co-edited and co-translated Materia Prima, a 2019 anthology featuring the late Uruguayan poet Amanda Berenguer, published by the same press. Both books have been reviewed in multiple publications, and the Poetry Society of America published Dykstra’s comments on each one in their “In Their Own Words” feature section. Dykstra was invited by the University of Houston to present the craft talk, “Star-Spangled: Translation in the Era of ‘Sonic Attacks,’” at InPrint in October, and she presented research on two panels at the American Literary Translators Association conference in November 2019. Her review, “Gustavo Pérez Firmat, Sin lengua, deslenguado.” was published by Bulletin of Spanish Studies 96.4 (2019). Kristin also had a mention in “micro-reviews” of poetry in translation in the September 2019 edition of the prestigious journal Kenyon Review.
(posted February 2020)

Kristin Dykstra, distinguished scholar in residence, published a scholarly chapter on Cuban writer Soleida Ríos in the 2019 book La futuridad del naufragio and spoke at its formal presentation at the Real Colegio Complutense at Harvard in May. She is principal translator of The Winter Garden Photograph by Reina María Rodríguez (Cuba), published by Ugly Duckling Presse, and she co-edited Materia Prima, an anthology featuring Amanda Berenguer (Uruguay) also published by the press in 2019. Dykstra spoke on panels at three spring conferences: the Modern Language Association, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, and the Latin American Studies Association.  She gave multiple readings of poetry in translation in Portland, OR, and Cambridge, MA.
(posted June 2019)

Kristin Dykstra, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, was a keynote speaker at “Spaces of Exchange: A Symposium on Mandorla” (Northwestern University, Poetry & Poetics). She is currently preparing archival materials from Mandorla magazine for a dedicated collection at Open Door Archive. Kristin gave a talk for the University of Connecticut, also in October, and presented new work at the national meetings of the American Literary Translators’ Association and the Modern Language Association. She edited “Out of Alamar: The Poetry of Juan Carlos Flores,” a print dossier and web companion published by the Chicago Review in fall 2018. Station Hill Press published Dykstra’s translation of Cubanology, a book of days by Omar Pérez.
(posted January 2019)

Kristin Dykstra, Distinguished Scholar in Residence, is guest editor of a dossier dedicated to the late Cuban poet Juan Carlos Flores, forthcoming in The Chicago Review 61.3. On June 6, she will read with Manuel Becerra (Mexico) as part of a magazine launch at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church In-the-Bowery. In March 2018 Kristin spoke on two panels at the AWP Conference in Tampa: “Translating Blackness,” sponsored by the American Literary Translators Association, and “Women Translating Women.” She co-hosted an offsite event at “An Evening of Latin American Poetry in Translation” at Hillsborough Community College–Ybor City Performing Arts. Her translation of Cubanology, a book of days by Omar Pérez, was accepted for publication by Station Hill Press and is coming out in fall 2018, when Pérez will visit a class at Saint Michael’s. Her translations of poems by Álvaro Mutis (Colombia) appeared this spring in MAKE: A Literary Magazine 17 (2017-2018).
(posted June 2018)

Kristin Dykstra, distinguished scholar in residence, published translations of essays by the renowned Chilean author Raúl Zurita in Lana Turner Journal 10, just out for December. Her translation of a book by Cuban writer Marcelo Morales, The World as Presence (U. of Alabama P, 2016), was longlisted for the National Translation Award by ALTA, the American Literary Translators’ Association. In October Dykstra attended ALTA’s national conference and gave a reading with other award finalists, as well as presenting a talk on a panel dedicated to Latin American writing. Her translation of Scaffoldings appeared in fall 2017 as a fine art chapbook edition featuring poems by Rito Ramón Aroche and artwork by Alejandro Sáinz, produced by the University of Alabama Book Arts Program in collaboration with the Taller Experimental de Gráfica in Havana. In magazines, Kristin published translations of short works by Mexican author Manuel Becerra and Cuban authors Omar Pérez and Soleida Ríos. She gave a reading at Kenyon College, and in the fall she spoke with Vermont writer Tina Escaja at the Burlington Book Festival
(posted December 2017)

The Chicago Review published Kristin Dyktra’s short essay “In Memoriam Juan Carlos Flores (1962-2016)” in issue 60.03 (2017), as well as posting the piece online:

Kristin Dykstra, distinguished scholar in residence, gave a reading at Kenyon College in late April, as well as participating in a bilingual reading with Reina María Rodríguez at Boston College in early April.
(posted June 2017)


Kristin Dykstra, distinguished scholar in residence at Saint Michael’s, is featured alongside other top international scholars in a recently completed episode about literary translation on a PBS television show in short format called Articulate, which the PBS website describes as an “art magazine series.” Kristin says that in 2015 she gave a reading and did related talks with a prominent Cuban poet, Reina María Rodríguez, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where organizers of the event at UPenn’s Kelly Writers House contacted the Articulate crew doing filming for the just-released segment that day in 2015. The other translators featured on the show, Esther Allen and Peter Cole, also are highly respected for the excellence of their work. The show has just been picked up for national syndication, including the translation episode with Kristin. She also did an interview this past winter with BOMB magazine, which focuses on the arts. The interview features Cuban poet Marcelo Morales, who spoke at the College in November 2016. He visited two St. Mike’s classes and spoke with quite a few students. One was Kristin’s introductory course on Cuban culture. In Cuba. Marcelo has long participated in discussions with visual artists, as he explains in this interview, so he also visited one of Brian Collier’s art classes to talk with students about their works in progress.
(posted June 2017)

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:
(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 (  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 ( 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 DailyOrion’s recent dossier on Cuban culture, and Lana Turner.  Prime 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
(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.