Mark Tardi

Mark Tardi

Photo courtesy of Mark Tardi


Mark Tardi is a writer, translator, and lecturer on faculty at the University of Łódź. He is the author of three books: The Circus of Trust (Dalkey Archive), Airport music (Burning Deck), and Euclid Shudders (Litmus). A former Fulbright scholar, he earned his MFA from Brown University and has held residencies at MASS MoCA, Vermont Studio Center, Millay Arts, and Djerassi. He has also received fellowships and grants from the Harry Ransom Center, the Citizen Diplomacy Action Fund, the Polish Book Institute, and the American Embassy in Warsaw. Recent writing and translations have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Interim, the Scores, Circumference, the Millions, La Piccioletta Barca, Jet Fuel Review, Berlin Quarterly, Notre Dame Review, and Rossocorpolingua (translated into Italian by Gianluca Rizzo). His translations of The Squatters’ Gift by Robert Rybicki (Dalkey Archive) and Faith in Strangers by Katarzyna Szaulińska (Toad Press/Veliz Books) were published in 2021.

Project Description

To support the translation from the Polish of A Scientific Handbook for Oneironauts by Robert Rybicki (b. 1976), a translator and the author of nine books of poetry. A selection from A Scientific Handbook for Oneironauts, a nearly 600-page collection of Rybicki's poems, will be translated and will bring together two decades of Rybicki's distinct poetic output with a strong representation of his inventiveness through a range of forms and styles.

Receiving a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts is a kind of miracle––of time, support, and recognition from my peers––but perhaps because of my Midwestern upbringing, it has always felt more natural for me to extol the efforts of those I admire than it is to say much about myself. To be included among so many people that I’ve admired for as long [as] I’ve been involved in literature leaves me astonished and intensely humbled.

Put simply, it’s impossible for me to imagine having received this honor without the influence and encouragement of so many people along the way: Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop, who are two of the most generous, insightful, and uplifting models for a life in writing and translating that I’ve ever known; the late C.D. Wright, for insisting that I apply for a Fulbright many years ago, which brought me to Poland in the first place; my colleagues at the University of Łódź, for continuously inspiring me; E. Tracy Grinnell, founder of Litmus Press, who supported my very first translation project of contemporary Polish poetry; the late John O'Brien, founder of Dalkey Archive Press, who commissioned me to translate Robert Rybicki; all the editors, poets, and writers I’ve worked with and learned from over the years; too many friends, family, and teachers to mention; and my wife Kasia, who has been with me every step of the way––a fount of intelligence, talent, humor, creativity, strength, and beauty.

An NEA Fellowship is a testament to the lasting impact we can have on each other’s lives and one of the most profound votes of confidence in the power of listening deeply, exercising care and empathy for other people and modes of creative expression, and a rebuke of incuriousness and solipsism.