Michelle Noteboom won the 2006 Heartland Poetry Prize for her first book Edging (Cracked Slab Books). Other work has appeared in Verse, Fence, Boston Review, Sentence, Columbia Poetry Review, MiPOesias, Los Angeles Review, Slightly West and Van Gogh’s Ear among others. She's lived mainly in Paris since 1991 where she co-curates the Ivy Writers Series with Jennifer K. Dick, a bilingual reading series. She works as a freelance translator in the French audiovisual industry and also translates French poetry. A section of her translation of Cécile Mainardi’s La Blondeur (Blondness) appears on the Chicago Postmodern Poetry website.
These texts are mistranslations of horoscopes found in the back of an Italian fashion magazine. Since I have no knowledge of Italian beyond the restaurant menu level, the translations are done phonetically/ visually. Sometimes my knowledge of French gave me a clue as to what the “meaning” was. After getting the basic “gist” down, I reworked the texts (like any good translator) to sound more authentic in my native language (like any good translation). In the magazine, there were separate horoscopes for men and women, for a total of 24 “mistranslated” texts.