Nisha Rathode

Fiona Sze Lorrain

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Nationality  French
Education  Columbia University
Role  Poet
Name  Fiona Sze-Lorrain
Spouse  Philippe Lorrain

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Occupation  Poet, translator, editor, harpist
Books  The Ruined Elegance, My Funeral Gondola, Water the Moon

Fiona sze lorrain at poets live

Fiona Sze-Lorrain (born 1980) is a French musician, poet, literary translator, and editor.



Born in Singapore, she spent her formative years in New York City and France. She grew up trilingual and began studying classical piano and guzheng at a young age. A graduate of Columbia University, she obtained her master's degree from New York University before earning a PhD in French from Paris-Sorbonne University.


Sze-Lorrain writes mainly in English, and translates from Chinese and French. An editor at Vif Éditions, she has written for venues related to fashion journalism, music and art criticism, and dramaturgy.

In 2007, she worked with Gao Xingjian on a book of photography, essays, and poetry based on his film, Silhouette/Shadow.

Through Mark Strand, whom she would later translate into French, she found her poetic vocation. A debut poetry collection, Water the Moon, appeared in 2010, followed by My Funeral Gondola in 2013. Prairie Schooner describes her work as an "arc" that "navigates the sense of otherness" with poems that "burst at the seams with the customs, gastronomy, ancestry, literature, and art of the two cultures." Her third collection, The Ruined Elegance, is published by Princeton University Press in the Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets in 2016 and is named one of Library Journal's Best Books in Poetry for 2015. It is also a finalist for the 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

Currently one of the recognized translators of contemporary Chinese poetry, she is shortlisted for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award and longlisted for the 2014 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. She is a co-founder of Cerise Press (2009-13) and a corresponding editor of Mānoa (2012-14).

As classical zheng harpist, she has performed worldwide. Her concert venues include Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, World Music Hall of Wesleyan University, Maison des cultures du monde, Zuiderpershuis Wereldculturen centrum, Rasa Wereldculturencentrum, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Musée Cernuschi, and the Orbigny-Bernon Museum.

Personal life

She lives in Paris with her husband, French publisher Philippe Lorrain.


  • The Ruined Elegance, 2016. ISBN 978-0-691-16769-5
  • Invisible Eye, 2015. ISBN 978-2-9541146-3-7
  • My Funeral Gondola, 2013. ISBN 978-0-98339198-2
  • Water the Moon, 2010. ISBN 978-1-934851-12-8
  • Translations

  • Sea Summit by Yi Lu, 2016. ISBN 978-1-571-31476-5
  • A Tree Planted in Summer by Ling Yu, 2015. ISBN 978-2-9541146-4-4
  • The City Is a Novel by Alexey Titarenko, with essays by Gabriel Bauret, Sean Corcoran, and Brett Abbott, 2015. ISBN 978-88-6208-414-7
  • Canyon in the Body by Lan Lan, 2014. ISBN 978-1-938890-01-7
  • Nails by Lan Lan, 2013. ISBN 978-962-996-627-0
  • I Can Almost See the Clouds of Dust by Yu Xiang, 2013. ISBN 978-0-9832970-9-3
  • Wind Says by Bai Hua, 2012. ISBN 978-0-9832970-6-2
  • Presque invisible (Almost Invisible) by Mark Strand, 2012. ISBN 978-2-9541146-1-3
  • Low Key by Yu Xiang, 2011. ISBN 978-962-996-532-7
  • Mingus, méditations by Auxeméry, 2011
  • Edited/Co-edited

  • Starry Island: New Writing from Singapore, 2014. ISBN 978-0-8248-4797-5
  • On Freedom: Spirit, Art, and State, 2013. ISBN 978-0-8248-3855-3
  • Sky Lanterns: New Poetry from China, Formosa, and Beyond, 2012. ISBN 978-0-8248-3698-6
  • Cerise Press: A Journal of Literature, Arts & Culture, Vol. 1 Issue 1-Vol. 5 Issue 13, 2009-2013. ISSN 1946-5262
  • Silhouette/Shadow: The Cinematic Art of Gao Xingjian, 2007. ISBN 978-981-05-9207-3
  • Interculturalism: Exploring Critical Issues, 2004. ISBN 978-1-904710-07-3
  • CD

  • Une seule prise (In One Take), 2010. UPC 3-760201-400005
  • Awards and honors

  • 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
  • 2016 Best Translated Book Award Finalist
  • 2014 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation Longlisted
  • 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist
  • 2011 Eric Hoffer Book Award Honorable Mention
  • References

    Fiona Sze-Lorrain Wikipedia

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