Maia Evrona is a poet, prose writer and translator of Yiddish (and occasionally Spanish) poetry. Her work has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Yiddish Book Center. She has published poems and translations in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Poetry Magazine and elsewhere. Her prose on subjects ranging from the art of translation, to living with chronic illness, to financial support for the arts, has appeared in a number of other venues.
Superficially, Evrona’s work as a translator from Yiddish might seem to have little to do with Greece and Spain, where she will be completing her Fulbright project. Historically, however, both of these cultures exerted outsize and unique influence on the formation of Jewish poetic tradition, an influence that extends through the Yiddish poetry she translates. During her Fulbright year, she will be furthering that tradition through her own English-language poetry. She hopes that in doing so, she will help draw Yiddish poetry out of its status as a niche curiosity, and foster connection between modern Greek, Spanish and Jewish societies, as well as between Jewish communities.
She will be partnering with the Mozaika and Casa Adret Cultural Platform in Barcelona, as well as with the Etz Hayyim Synagogue in Chania, Crete, giving readings and lectures on her translations of Yiddish poetry. She hopes these events, and her involvement with both of these cultural institutions, will increase awareness of Jewish history and the Holocaust in Greece and Spain, and help to combat anti-semitism.