Nancy Naomi Carlson

Kensington Day of the Book Poet Laureate!

  Kensington has always been known as a poetry-friendly town.  To further spotlight and celebrate our collective love of poetry, we have designated Nancy Naomi Carlson as our Kensington Day of the Book Poet Laureate. Ms. Carlson is not only a strong poet and poetry translator in her own right, but is also a tireless advocate for the greater poetry community in the area, as a teacher, reader, organizer, and literary judge.
Be sure to meet her and hear her read at the Festival .


Nancy Naomi Carlson is a poet, translator, and editor, as well as a recipient of a literature translation fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts; she has also received grants from the Maryland Arts Council and the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County. Author of three prize-winning non-translated titles, her first collection of poetry, Kings Highway, was a co-winner for the Washington Writers’ Publishing House competition. Complications of the Heart won the Texas Review Press’ Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize and Imperfect Seal of Lips was selected for the Tennessee Chapbook Prize. Infusion of Violets is forthcoming from Seagull Books in the Spring of 2019. 

Carlson has published five collections of poetry translations, including Hammer with No Master, translations of René Char (Tupelo Press). Calazaza’s Delicious Dereliction (Tupelo Press), translations of Suzanne Dracius, from Martinique, was published in 2015. The Nomads, My Brothers, Go Out to Drink from the Big Dipper (Seagull Books, distributed by the University of Chicago Press), translations of Abdourahman Waberi, from Djibouti, was also published in 2015, and was a finalist for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award for Poetry, as well as one of ten “Best Books of 2015” by Beltway Poetry Quarterly.

Carlson’s translations and non-translated work have appeared in such journals as The American Poetry Review, AGNI, Boulevard, Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, FIELD, Five Points, The Georgia Review, The Iowa Review, Kenyon Review Online, The Massachusetts Review, Poetry, and Prairie SchoonerShe is a senior translation editor for Tupelo Quarterly and translation editor for Blue Lyra Review. She coordinates the CACREP-accredited graduate school counseling program at the University of the District of Columbia, and has earned doctorates in foreign language methodology and counselor education.

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