Caleb Beissert

Caleb Beissert (Poetry, Translation) | Asheville, NC

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Caleb Beissert is translator of Beautiful: Translations from the Spanish, poems of Federico García Lorca and Pablo Neruda, published by New Native Press in 2013. Beissert also is a poet, musician, and event organizer who performs and hosts readings regularly. Born in Washington, D.C., Beissert earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Western Carolina University in 2009. His poems, translations, or other writings have appeared in International Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, Asheville Poetry Review, Red Earth Review,, The Citron Review, Flycatcher, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Beatitude: Golden Anniversary 1959-2009, and Animal Poems (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2014). Beissert was a student of the Gilbert-Chappell Distinguished Poet Series in 2008. The same year, he studied Reformation literature while traveling throughout Europe. In 2013, Beissert gave readings at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and spent time traversing southern Spain, tracing the footsteps of Federico García Lorca. Beissert has been awarded grants from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Arts & Science Council for teaching poetry. He now resides in Asheville, NC, where he continues to write, translate, teach, play music, give readings, and contemplate.


Beautiful (New Native Press, 2013). Poetry. Translation.

Press & Reviews

“Indeed the Lorca and Neruda poems selected for translation by Beissert—and the resulting translations of those poems—are all, in one way or another, beautiful. The book does not employ that sadly overused word superficially or sentimentally; rather, Beissert is interested in better understanding the true nature of beauty, and this quest constitutes the book’s underlying motivation—to understand and celebrate the beautiful game of poetry as practiced by two masters whose works took shape within the Spanish language yet which have universal meaning. Beissert captures their mystery (Lorca’s poems, particularly), their majesty (Neruda’s, especially), and their grace (found in the work of both poets, certainly).”
—Ted Olson, Rapid River Magazine, February 2013

“The word ‘beautiful’ is the perfect metaphor for what Caleb Beissert has made of the poems of Pablo Neruda and Federico García Lorca in this collection—some of which are well-known, if not ‘celebrities’ of the late 20th and early 21st century literary canon. Beissert has brought, in his translations of these two international giants of modern verse, a new insight into their respective psyches and their Hispanic passion for language. For two such well-documented poets as this, one might wonder if more translations of their work are necessary. But as Beissert reiterates in his Preface to the book: ‘I do not believe in ‘definitive’ versions, nor in the finality of ‘literal translations.” His renderings in Beautiful put any such philosophical questions or doubts to rest. The transliterations here are, as he puts it, ‘like a family moving into a new home. A fresh glance, a new perspective, a current voice.’ The new Beissert-inspired 21st century voices of Neruda and García Lorca come across as nothing less than the exegesis of the book’s title: ‘beautiful.’”
—Thomas Rain Crowe

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