The title of this blog is a small excerpt from one of the many e-mails I received from Mongolian poet G. Ayurzana when I was preparing an application to the Fulbright Foundation in order to spend a year in Mongolia, study the Mongolian language and translate contemporary Mongolian poetry into English. At the end of this particular e-mail, Ayurzana wrote, "Hope we will be great friends under Mongolian blue sky."
Many months later, I moved to Mongolia. I met Ayur and his wife Olziitogs, both excellent poets, with whom I became friends and collaborated on many translations. I also befriended and collaborated with the many other poets to be found in these pages, including Galsansukh, G. Delgerma and Chilaajav. Thanks to the Fulbright Program for making this work possible.
I lived in a one bedroom apartment in Ulaanbaatar with a Mongolian family of four, I lived on the road throughout the Mongolian countryside, and I lived with other foreigners to Mongolia.
My name is Lisa Fink. I am a poet and writer. My poems have been published in Spout, Forklift, Ohio and Spinning Jenny. I am also a teacher. I have taught creative writing to people of all ages and abilities. I hope to include here some of my own translations of Mongolian poetry as well as the work of others.
My educational background lies in the sciences as well as in writing. I have a degree, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in Zoology with an emphasis on animal behavior. I am a naturalist and ethologist with interest particularly in diving birds, such as loons and coots. No doubt you will read here about the urban and country wildlife I encountered, as well as other aspects of the natural world in Mongolia.
I aim to continue my translation of contemporary and classical Mongolian literature, to further my study of Mongolian language and culture, and to return to Mongolia some day soon.