Blessed Journey, an Interview with Poet and Translator Liliana Valenzuela
by Millicent Borges Accardi
A juggernaut and acclaimed translator of literary works by Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, Denise Chávez, Nina Marie Martínez, Ana Castillo, Dagoberto Gilb, Richard Rodríguez, Cristina García, Gloria Anzaldúa, and many others, Liliana Valenzuela is also a talented poet in her own right. Born in Mexico City, Valenzuela is the author of Codex of Journeys: Bendito Camino, a recent chapbook of poetry, as well essays and poetry publications in The Edinburgh Review, Indiana Review, Tigertail, and other journals.
A lively performer, Valenzuela was recently engaged to record the audiobook for La casa en Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros for Random House.Valenzuela is past Director of the American Translators Association, as well as a CantoMundo fellow. Across many genres, she has translated literary works, art and photography books, museum catalogs, and web sites. She received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and Folklore from the University of Texas at Austin, where she now lives with her family.
This summer, she kindly agreed to answer a few questions for Poets’ Quarterly and here are her responses. I have been honored to know Liliana through the poetry fellowship CantoMundo.