“Pessimism of the Will & Optimism of the Intellect” (Antonio Gramsci)

Rebecca Ruth Gould in Isfahan (Iran) in 2016. Photo by the author.

Hello! Welcome to this short summary of myself. I define myself as a writer, reader, translator, teacher, lover of staying up late at night, of wandering through cities and watching the stars, coffee, documentary films, medieval ruins, and poetry…


How Langston Hughes saw the Soviet Union and how it changed my life

Langston Hughes (left) and Arthur Koestler (right), from A Negro Looks at Soviet Central Asia (1932) by Langston Hughes.

We are all colonized.— marginalia in a library copy of Dominance Without Hegemony by Ranajit Guha, Indian historian

The reader of Langston Hughes’s writings on the Soviet experiment is bound to be confused. In the 1930s, during the peak of Stalinist repression, Hughes produced volumes praising the Soviet Union, particularly…


The meaning of solidarity with Palestine

Mural of Solidarity with Palestine via Pixabay

The world’s attention has been transfixed by Israel’s most recent attack on Gaza. Palestinian voices and narratives have begun to filter through the mainstream American media channels that have suppressed their voices for decades. When the Israeli military bombed al-Jalaa Tower, which housed the Associated Press and Al Jazeera offices…


She wanted to make love to books, with her hands

Photo of Budapest’s Chain Bridge by Daniel Olah via Unsplash

When she was awarded a year-long fellowship in Budapest, Sarah Wallace was given the opportunity to invite anyone she wanted, anywhere in the world, to visit her during her stay in Hungary. She invited a famous scholar whose book she adored, and he declined. And then she remembered Yasin, the…


What you can learn from the injustices done to other writers

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

Having a literary agent is the dream of many writers. Countless blog posts, forums, and writers’ handbooks begin with the question: How do you get a literary agent? …


Introducing Yu Xiuhua

Moonlight Rests on My Left Palm by Yu Xiuhua.

“I have claimed to be a woman without a story. Still, I have experienced much of life,” writes Yu Xiuhua in “My Crazy Love Feels More Like Despair,” the opening essay of Moonlight Rests on My Left Palm, a hybrid collection of poetry and prose, translated from the Chinese by…


An Iraqi soldier writes about war

Poems That Do Not Sleep by Hassan Al Nawwab

In Poems that do not sleep, Hassan Al Nawwab tells of his experiences as an Iraqi soldier and refugee whose life has been forever altered by war. Al Nawwab’s English translations, which appear alongside his Arabic originals, bear the imprint of the dual consciousness that so often shapes the experiences…


Instead of suffering from sleeplessness, find joy in being awake at night

Vincent Van Gogh, The Starry Night (1889), via Wikipedia

This article won’t tell you how to get back to sleep if you find yourself unable to sleep at night. But it may help you enjoy your wakefulness.

I have nothing against sleep. As Blanchot said, sleep transforms…


The first translation of the Kalevala by a Finnish poet is finally available

Covers for different translations of The Kalevala

This volume is a reissue of Eino Friberg’s translation of the Kalevala, the first major published work of secular poetry in Finnish. …

Rebecca Ruth Gould

Poetry, politics, author’s rights, the Caucasus, Iran, Palestine. Writer. Educator. rrgould.hcommons.org. Support my work ☕ https://www.buymeacoffee.com/rrgould

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